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Poetry Appreciation  


Submitted by: Nancy Lefebure  

One of the most enjoyable things I have done with poetry at school is to have a "Poetry Appreciation Time" outside when the weather turns nice in the spring.

We go and sit in a nice spot outside and I model it by reading them the poem "I Meant to Do My Work Today":


I meant to do my work to-day --

But a brown bird sang in the apple-tree

And a butterfly flitted across the field,

And all the leaves were calling me.


And the wind went sighing over the land,

Tossing the grasses to and fro,

And a rainbow held out its shining hand ---

So what could I do but laugh and go?


by Richard Le Galliene from a book entitled The Melody of Earth: An anthology of garden and nature poems from present-day poets, 1918


I talk about how we often feel like that in the spring, so let's take the opportunity to enjoy the nice weather and sit outside once a week, enjoying poetry.

I often read them another poem that I loved when I was ten: "The Tale of Custard the Dragon" by Ogden Nash - so that they can see my enthusiasm for different types of poems.

I ask the students to sign up to take their turn to bring in a poem or two that they especially like. They have to be prepared to talk about why they like it and what it means. I usually have three students per session do this, so it takes me six weeks to go through the class, as I teach in a small school where the class size max. is 18. You could have more students read per week, if you have a larger class. Have each student produce a typed copy of their poem and put together a "Favourite Poems" booklet for the class to have as a souvenir when it's all over.

(Added keyboarding/word processing practice there!)