Thursday, August 11, 2016

Poetry Picnic: August 5, 2016

We had a poetry picnic in May, which I'm just realizing I never posted about! Oops! I also tried to have one in June, but it wound up being a complete train wreck. Little Miss Muffet was in an especially contrary mood, and the end result was a lot of crying and almost no reading of poems. It took me a while to feel ready to try again, but last week, I baked some brownies, packed up some lunch, and marched us all over to the park. We sat ourselves at a picnic table at the top of the hill in an area Little Miss Muffet calls "the forest" and had (mostly) a nice time. (Our picnic spot, occupied by Miss Muffet's doll, Baby Robin, is shown in the picture above.)

For previous picnics, I have brought books with me, written the poems out by hand, and typed them up and printed them out, but this time I just collected them the night before in a Google doc and read them aloud from my phone. It didn't seem to bother Miss Muffet, and it made planning so much easier. I selected the poems based on Miss Muffet's requests, and some of her recent interests. The poems are as follows:

From Poems of Childhood

My husband found this poem for me after Miss Muffet requested a poem about a gingerbread man and I couldn't find one I liked. This poem has a gingerbread dog, which seemed to please her just as well.

From All Together
  • The Sad Shoes by Dorothy Aldis
  • I Have to Have It by Dorothy Aldis
  • Alone by Dorothy Aldis
  • What They Are For by Dorothy Aldis
I like Dorothy Aldis because her poems are short and very relatable for preschoolers. "The Sad Shoes" reminded me of conversations Miss Muffet and I have had about her old corduroy shoes, which only fit her for a short time and are now being saved for Bo Peep. I chose "I Have to Have It" because of Miss Muffet's affinity for sticks, and "Alone" because I often see Miss Muffet standing on the sidelines, observing a group of kids without ever joining in. "What They Are For" just seemed like her kind of poem, since she often asks about uses for different objects.

From Peacock Pie
Miss Muffet has enjoyed both fresh bread and cherries this summer, so this poem jumped out at me.  I wanted to include more de la Mare, but I found most of the rest of the poems in this collection too complex for her right now. 

There is an adapted version of "The Little Jumping Girls" in a vintage kindergarten-level basal reader that I picked up at a used bookstore. Miss Muffet enjoys that version, so I thought she would appreciate the original even more. Since "Ring-a-Ring" is similar - and because we have been playing Ring-a-Round-the Rosie in the pool, I added that one to my list as well. "Block City" perfectly describes how Miss Muffet plays with blocks, and "The Postman" was meant to help answer some of Miss Muffet's ongoing questions about how mail is delivered. The Farjeon poems were included both because I love Farjeon (she wrote "Morning Has Broken" and "People Look East!") and because Miss Muffet has been interested in dragonflies and vegetables.

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