Sunday, August 5, 2012

Poetry, Copywork & Performance.

Something that I think works really well in our homeschool is our Poetry study.

I loosely follow the Charlotte Mason method of using poetry as copywork (writing practice), but expand upon the idea to include a weekly recorded recitation of the current poem.

+ Copywork (writing out the poem in their best handwriting)
+ Learning the Poem (reading it aloud together each day)
+ Performance (recording their best recitation of the poem on my iphone :)

How this works
First point of call is choosing their Poet of the term (I find it's best to give each of them their own poet, they have a lot of other common and shared work but I don't want to create any performance anxiety issues by adding competition here). Generally I have used the recommendations from AmblesideOnline here (scroll down a little to find recommendations per AO year level) ie. so far this year Lovely has focused on Robert Louis Stevenson and A.A.Milne (year 1) and Hug has focused on Walter de la Mare and William Blake (years 2/3).

This term, however, I have taken the suggestions of Jeanne at Oh Peaceful Day to include Australian poets. That makes sense! Jeanne has written about her Australianised Poetry rotation here. So, now Lovely is learning the poetry of C.J.Dennis (short, snappy & funny. Perfect for him!) and Hug: Banjo Paterson.

Once the poet is chosen, I search our local library system catalogue for books and consult google, to decide upon poems. Generally, I try and fit the poems to the child's level and interests. ie. I don't want to overwhelm L with too much written work so his poems are shorter and funny, if possible, to grab his interest. H, on the other hand can handle a heartier writing session and a more thought provoking poem.

Next, I schedule the poems out across the term. I like to give the boys their poems on Monday mornings and record their recital on Fridays. This, of course, doesn't always go to plan *snort* ;) But basically this is where I say X poem for X week.

Then I go about finding the 'choosen ones' online and copy and paste them into separate documents. I use the same font as they use in their daily handwriting workbooks (we use Targeting Handwriting NSW) and then add blank copywork lines under each line of text using this free Penmanship Print font (downloadable here).

And that's it! Well, kind of it, today is the first time I've gone ahead and prepared and printed the full terms worth of poems in advance ;)  Yay! Pretty excited. Lol. I'm usually scrambling on a Sunday night (or worse, Monday morning) to gather and print that weeks poems.

The boys work on their poem a few lines a day throughout the week and then we record them :) My plan is to upload them to my youtube channel for our own records but so far I've only put up the very first one & am happy to share it for you to see (Lovely reciting "Rain" by Robert Louis Stevenson).

How do your kids get into poetry? x


I forgot to mention that they boys keep their own poetry books.
After each poem is recorded, it is glued in and illustrated. 

I feel like this gives them a nice sense of ownership over the poems. And a point of reference to return to each poem.

Fb Comments
Comments :


  1. We love poetry here too!
    We just read it twice a week and I have dd memorise one per term. We loved and laughed heaps with c j Dennis (also thankful to Jeanne for that) we are currently doing Walter de la mere and dd is enjoying it very much.

  2. Lovely's recitation of "Rain" was just priceless and so sweet!!! Pure cuteness.

    I love this idea of poetry recitation, too.

    Thanks very much for sharing :)

  3. Hee Hee :) Thanks @Glory Bea :D

    & @Joyfulmum- my son loved Walter de la Mare too!

    I forgot to mention that we also have a Poetry Workbook, I'll have to edit the post & add that in.

    Thanks for commenting ladies! xx

  4. Oooh - very inspiring!
    We have been doing Mensa Kids Poetry program in bits and pieces, along with Michael Clay Thompson "Music of the Hemispheres" - which is wonderful too.

    Not doing enough of it though ; )

    Shall check out L on the tube!

    xx Tracey

  5. Thanks for the link, Amber! We're studying John O'Brien this term. Some of his stuff is great. Love Aussie poetry!


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