April is National Poetry Month, so before it’s over, I wanted to share this beautiful book (or should I say tome? It weighs about 50 pounds) of nature poetry. There is a different poem selected for every day of the year, and the poems often coincide with the seasons as well. It features poetry by some well-known poets such as Christina Rossetti and Robert Frost, as well as works from lesser known poets, and traditional songs.
I love poetry but don’t often think to pick up a book of poems when I want to read. The way this book is set up with a different poem every day, it always makes me want to see what today’s poem is, and I imagine it would have the same effect on children!
While poetry is not something we typically gravitate towards when choosing a read-aloud, I highly encourage parents and teachers to try adding it in to their reading routine. Poetry encourages us to connect with the figurative and flowery forms of language, which is a great brain exercise! Rhyming poetry is also great for phonemic awareness, as children become more aware of different sounds and then begin to anticipate the rhyming words that come next. Poems often use language that is less commonly used in everyday speech as well, so they can be a wonderful resource for vocabulary development. Are you sold yet?
Since this book has 365 different poems, I’ve included a list of discussion questions that you can use to accompany pretty much any poem you choose.
- Talk about the five senses, and which senses the poem appealed to. When you read the poem, what did you visualize? Are there any sounds, smells, textures, or tastes that it made you imagine?
- Did the poet use any similes or metaphors? What do you think they meant literally?
- If the poem rhymes, read a few lines to familiarize your child with the rhythm and rhyming pattern, then try reading a line out loud, leaving out the rhyming word at the end. Ask your child to guess what word might come next.
- Does this poem remind you of a place you’ve been to or something you’ve seen or experienced?