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!)