Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Poet Highlight: Emily Dickinson

Poet Highlight Emily Dickinson

During the month of April we’re highlighting Poetry Teatime in the Brave Writer Lifestyle, which makes this a fitting time to break out some Emily Dickinson along with the teapot!


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On December 10, 1830, Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts. Although she would write nearly 1,800 poems over the course of her life, very little of her poetry was published during her lifetime and even those that were published were edited to be more “conventional.” Dickinson’s poetry did not become well-known until after her death.

An infamous recluse, Dickinson remained in contact with her friends primarily through letters. She wrote poetry throughout her life, which she kept in tied-up “bundles.” Her sister discovered these bundles after Dickinson’s death and had them published in an altered form. Dickinson’s work would not be published in anything resembling its original form until later.

Dickinson’s distinctive poetic style is notable for its use of short lines, non-standard grammar, and unconventional rhyme schemes. In particular, her poetry utilizes slant rhyme, which happens when the poet chooses words that nearly rhyme but don’t quite. In other words: she was a rule breaker!

Dickinson’s poems represent an opportunity for young readers to see a respected poet playing with language freely. So, boil some tea and enjoy the word play!

A note to parents: Emily Dickinson’s poetry at times deals with some heavy themes, most often surrounding death. We recommend reading the poems yourself before deciding if they are right for your family.

Resources

The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson – In this BrainPOP YouTube video (8 min.), “Tim and Moby examine the life of the celebrated poet and explore one of her groundbreaking poems. ‘A Bird came down the Walk’ [which] illustrates Dickinson’s lyric style, her vivid imagery and figurative language, and her innovative use of slant rhyme.”

Emily – If your kids are too young for her poetry, this beautifully illustrated picture book follows a little girl who lives across the street from Emily Dickinson.


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This month we’re sharing our favorite poems!

Playing with Poetry Success

Playing with Poetry Success

A Brave Writer mom had this to say in our Playing with Poetry Workshop!

During my introduction, I posted that I had a kid who associated the word poetry with “reading and books” which were “two things I hate!” and I reached out to Susanne to make her aware of a few special needs and couple set of special circumstances and I received the warmest email packed with loads of fantastic suggestions and ideas and here’s what happened:

To my utter shock, the child snatched (yes, snatched!) the book (uhuh, a book!) right out of my hands, tucked a lock of hair behind her little ear, crossed her legs prettily, adjusted her dress, pushed her glasses up her nose, cleared her throat dramatically (“A-hem!”), and proceeded to read aloud to her sister and me (she read aloud!!! And here’s where I got a little lump in my throat and had to clear my own throat a bit, except really quietly, while gulping “tea,” okay it was really lemonade, okay it was a big lump in my throat, okay I was choking on a giant sob, okay now that the kids are in bed and I’m writing about the whole experience I’m choking on that same sob all over again but in a good way! I’m so proud of her!). Obviously, we had a lot of FUN with this assignment! We tweaked it quite a bit to suit our needs, using lots of Susanne’s ideas.

1. Look at the Poem

We looked at all the poems that Susanne had listed online. We didn’t use any books at all at first. We noticed how they were arranged, the way they were grouped, whether or not the lines had periods at the ends. And at first, we did not read them at all! (This was very enticing to my child. “We don’t actually have to read?” “Oh no, this is poetry! This is like Word Art! At first we are just going look and notice! In fact, do not read! Just notice and appreciate the lines of words right now. Absolutely do not read when you first look at poem!”) Eventually, after noticing and appreciating all of the poems (we likened it to strolling around a “Word Art” Gallery), we decided to pick “The Firefly” by Ogden Nash (admittedly because it was the shortest offering listed in Susanne’s list).

2. Every Word Counts

I carefully copied our selected poem into a big piece of construction paper. And then I made a few separate oak tag boards for handwriting practice with three unfamiliar words from our poem for us to figure out. Handwriting isn’t really our thing, so I knew that my daughter wouldn’t be interested in doing copywork for the entire poem. And the oak tag boards were completely optional. But they were big and pretty and I used purple markers and pulled out supplies for us to make drawings of fireflies on them with glow in the dark paint to embellish them, so I was pretty sure that she’d be interested. (She was, since art is her thing!) We didn’t look for the dictionary definition only, we looked in a thesaurus as well, so we could get the gist of what the author was talking about. And then we came up with lots of synonyms of our own too! We looked up the word: EERIER (oddball, creepy, weird, strange) and UNIDENTIFIED (unknown, unnamed, mysterious) and POSTERIOR (rear, backside, behind, or as this author intends it…tushie, bum, b-u-t-t! Insert peals of hysterical rolling on the floor, irreverent, delightful, elementary kid, laughter).

3. Read Poems Aloud – Always!

We read our poem lots of times! We read it over the phone to Dad, who is away on a business trip this week (EERIER rhymes with POSTERIOR which “GUESS WHAT THAT MEANS DAD??”). We read it to our friends when they came over to play! We read it to another friend when he dropped over to visit! And we expanded all our friends’ vocabularies and taught them all the author’s intended meaning of the word “posterior” and Mommy had lots of coffee on Monday and Tuesday (but did I mention that on Tuesday night my daughter read a poetry book? Oh, and it wasn’t authored by Ogden Nash) so it’s all good! It’s all very, very good.

4. The Whole Enchilada!

As I said above, we tweaked the copywork suggestion quite a bit to suit our needs. And we stuck heavily with the goal of enjoying our poem! We had lots and lots of tea parties, lots and lots of teatime treats, we drug big sister in on the tea parties, we seated and served stuffed Pokemon like royalty with their own tea cups! We pulled in firefly art projects, we danced, we made up songs (sorry, Mr. Nash, your lovely little poem got turned into a rap!), and we just had all kinds of fun with our poem for a solid 48 hours. (And I’m sure it will still be going on when she wakes up tomorrow!)


Poetry Teatime

 

April in the Homeschool Alliance: Poetry

April in the Homeschool Alliance

Your kids get to join us in the Alliance for our Poetry Workshop in April!

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is a children’s poet who has become quite a friend to Brave Writer and me. She’s excited to share with you all in April about how poems are teachers to help you get more comfortable using poetry in your homeschool and encouraging your kids to write it!

Amy is especially delightful (truly a homeschooler in disguise). She and her husband live on huge acreage and spend copious amounts of time in nature, taking notes, observing, and sketching. A kindred spirit in so many ways (check out our Poetry Teatime interview and podcast with Amy)!


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Brave Writer receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!]


Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s bookEvery Day Birds, is my personal favorite, but I also love her newly released: Dreaming of You. Amy is sharing with us a reading from her book Poems are Teachers as well.

The Alliance is hosting a webinar with Amy on Thursday, April 5 at 7:00 PM EST.

If you’re a member of the Homeschool Alliance, you’ll automatically be able to join us. We’ll also post the replay if you can’t make it live.

You’ll also have access to all the previous webinars of the last three years (Just sayin’—Josh MacNeill of Neurologic was last month and he gives you the keys to the kingdom for how to help your kids to Just Calm Down and Focus!).

What have you got to lose? Join us!


One more fun thing!

Our Brave Writer staff is putting together a list of favorite poems just for YOU (the list is amazing!). We’ll be discussing poetry all month and I promise to lower the bar so you’ll experience success.

If poetry is the teensiest bit intimidating for you, or you just plain HATE it, this is the right month to try the Alliance.

Can’t wait to meet you!

Join The Homeschool Alliance

April is Poetry Month in The Homeschool Alliance

April is Poetry Month in The Homeschool Alliance

April is National Poetry Month and we’re going to dive in together in The Homeschool Alliance! We’re starting with the fabulous Mary Oliver. I’ll help you learn how to read, share, and write poetry with your kids.

Each month in the Alliance we deep dive into a topic to empower your homeschool. You can join any time and leave any time. We hold monthly web chats with me and Stephanie Elms, our other coach, where we hash out stuff about parenting, credits, teaching, and more.

Participate from anywhere on the globe! Check out CoachJulieBogart.com for details and give us a try this month!

Join The Homeschool Alliance

Poetry Books for Teatime

Books for Poetry Teatime

We share poetry titles on our Poetry Teatime website and Pinterest board. Suggested books often come from the featured teatimes of Brave Writer families. Below are the titles we highlighted during 2016. Enjoy!

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Brave Writer receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!]

Echo, Echo: Reverso Poems About Greek Myths by Marilyn Singer

Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl

Fold Me a Poem by Kristine O’Connell George

Around the World on Eighty Legs: Animal Poems by Amy Gibson

Poems in the Attic by Nikki Grimes

Surprises by Lee Bennett Hopkins

Zoo of Emotions by Teneisha Jones

Mary Had A Little Jam: And Other Silly Rhymes by Bruce Lansky

Sea Star Wishes by Eric Ode

For Laughing Out Loud: Poems to Tickle Your Funnybone by Jack Prelutsky

Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry: How to Write a Poem by Jack Prelutsky

Truckery Rhymes by Jon Scieszka

I’m Nobody Who Are You? Poems of Emily Dickinson for Young People edited by Rex Schneider

Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman

Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman

Every Day Birds by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

Grumbles from the Forest: Fairy-Tale Voices with a Twist by Jane Yolen

Home Grown House by Janet Wong

The Poetry of Science: The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science for Kids edited by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong

National Geographic’s Book of Nature Poetry

A Child’s Introduction to Poetry: Listen While You Learn about the Magic Words That Have Moved Mountains, Won Battles and Made Us Laugh and Cry by Michael Driscoll

For more poetry book suggestions
see our lists for 2015 and 2014.

Don’t forget about our Poetry Anthology: Poetry Teatime Companion!
We designed it with Poetry Teatime in mind.


Image by Poetry Teatime mom Kathleen