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.
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.