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Favorite Poems Old and New: Teaching Poetry to Children

Monday Mailbag Q&A

Hi Jennifer,

I am up to my earlobes in lesson plans and somewhere in my mind, I remembered that you have a favorite poetry collection for children. Is that true? I would love to do more with poetry this year.


Teaching Poetry to Children

Yes, Bethany.

I love reading and discussing poetry with my children. We’ve read numerous volumes of poetry over the years and are presently about halfway through Shel Silverstein’s Everything on It. But my absolute favorite collection, hands down, is Favorite Poems Old and New. We’ve read it through several times over the years. Now that I think of it, we may begin it again after we finish SS’s book. It has been a few since we last went through it.

I keep two copies of this particular book of poetry on hand. That way, I can read and/or follow along from one, while the children pass around the second copy and read aloud poems that I assign to them. It’s a thick book — nearly six hundred pages — with a wide variety of poems classified by topic.

It includes many of my all time favorites, such as this one by Dorothy Aldis entitled “Hiding”:

Free printable copy of Dorothy Aldis's poem "Hiding" to memorize| www.flandersfamily.info
[click on image to print]

I’m pretty sure this is the first poem my fourth-born ever memorized. He loved listening to this one as a child and committed it to memory without my even prompting him to do so.

Long gone are the days of peek-a-boo and hide-and-seek we enjoyed with that little boy. He’s all grown up now and in his second year of medical school (still putting those fine memorization skills to good use!)

I know I’ve shared the “It Couldn’t Be Done” before, but it’s another great poem for memorizing, and one of our family’s favorites.

Free printable poem to memorize: It couldn't be done

I Opened a Book” is also a wonderful poem, and so true!

I Opened a Book Poem - Free Printable

You’ll find still more of our personal favorites — plus a few poems I’ve penned myself — by following this link.

I think poetry deserves a place in every child’s education. If you’re only going to invest in one book of poems, Favorite Poems Old and New is definitely the one I’d recommend!

Teaching Poetry to Children

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