9.28.2015

Our Family Poetry Night

One of things I love about having children is how easy it is to make small or even mundane things epic (at least in their book).  In our house, we're always looking for ways to make our time together more special and we love a reason to celebrate.  So when we came to our homeschool poetry unit and my kids weren't exactly thrilled about it, we decided to try to turn it into something a little more exciting by doing a family poetry open mic night.   It ended up being so much fun!  The kids loved it and it got them really excited about poetry.  So much so that I wanted to share about it here.   Even though we're a homeschooling family, this is definitely something that any family could do.  I also think it would be great to do together with several families.


We started out by asking Jude and Indigo to find 10 poems that they liked.  They are drawn to silly poems (Shel Silverstein is their favorite poet) but we did ask that they include a few serious poems as well.



Then we had them create poetry books.  I got this idea from my homeschooling curriculum (Christopherus).  They suggested using cardstock and binding the pages with ribbon.  Another suggestion was to consider giving the books away as gifts.  Such a great idea, right?!



Jude and Indigo wrote out their 10 favorite poems in the books, illustrating them as well.


The kids decided to give the books away, which motived them to do their very best work as well as to only choose poems that they found to be impressive.  They ended up falling so in love with their poetry books that they had to make a copy (using our printer) to keep for themselves.


Almost any ordinary night can be made special just by having special food.  When we talked about having a poetry night, we wanted to create a lounge-ish kind of atmosphere.  We decided to serve small chocolates, cookies (we are serving kids after all... but really, who can turn down a cookie?), and bubbly drinks.  Bonus points if you serve the drinks in fancy glasses.  :)


I wanted the little girls to feel included, too, and since they aren't old enough yet to do all of that writing, they helped me bake the cookies for the event.



While we baked, we worked on memorizing their poem.


We waited until it got dark to begin to recitations.  Whenever the kids do a performance of any kind, we shine a flashlight on them as if it were a spotlight.  They love it!


Jude and Indigo read 7 poems from their poetry books and then recited three each by memory.


Tia memorized one poem but then went back 'on stage' to recite it several times.


Iris also recited her poem.


Except she recited it like this : "Rose are red; Violets are blue.  Sweet is good and so are you."

Oh, Iris!

Last time we had a poetry night, Dan and I shared our favorite poems, too.  (This time Hazel was fussy which made things a bit harder.)


All in all, this was such a fun experience for all of us.   It was so easy to put together and I have never seen children this excited by poetry in my life.  The event kind of took on a life of its own - they were so into it!  They asked if we could do it again at the end of the semester, but with a Christmas theme.

You can count on it!

16 comments:

  1. I love this and just requested books from the library! I think National Poetry day is Oct 6th.

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  2. Oct 8th. I'm planning our poetry night too! :)

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  3. What a great idea. Looks like you all had a good time.

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    1. It was great! I'm glad they were so into it. Sometimes you just never know. :)

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  4. What a great idea. I'm in awe at how you handle your homeschooling, hats off.
    Love the flashlight idea too :-)

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    1. Thanks so much! I am in awe of all YOU do! And yes, the flashlight! :) Always a hit!

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  5. Can I come to your homeschool? Looks like a lot more fun than the school I went to.

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  6. This post is so great!!! I wish I was there with y'all, but reading this was pretty darn close to being there! I love the picture of Indigo tickling Iris, and Hazey doing the "wave" in front of Tia. What a beautiful family you have. So much joy here. Love the idea of a poetry reading!

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  7. Oh I have so many bad memories of attending open mic nights as a uni student. Too many overly sensitive art student types reciting their own anguish-laden poetry. Yours looks much more fun. Haiku and limericks should be compulsory for kids, keep it short and funny. Oh and Baudelaire for the grown ups! :)
    Lots of fun!

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  8. I love this idea so much! And I especially love the idea to give the poem books away. I'm going to tuck that idea away for when my kids are older and/or when I head back to the classroom. Looks like a special evening.

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  9. Ah I love this idea too!!! Our kids love Shel Silverstein, we need to make it a point of reading those more often. Christmas poetry is a great idea too - Twas the Night Before Christmas immediately comes to mind! And The Grinch counts too, right??? Oh man, I love it. Way to get all the kids involved. :)

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  10. my daughters class did this in the 3rd grade and each child got a poem book with everyone's poems. There were multiple poems by each child and some of them were so funny, so clever.

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  11. simply, you're awesome. your kids are going to grow up loving to learn because you've made it so fun and engaging. my hat goes off to you and Dan both!

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  12. Hi Rachel! Thank you so much for directing me here and sharing this. I LOVE this idea! (And your blog.) You have a lovely family and I'm so impressed by the clothing you make for your children, too! xo

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    1. Thank you so much for this! It really means so much to me! <3

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