Friday, April 20, 2018

Poetry Picnic: April 12, 2018

The tradition continues! This week, we finally got some warm spring weather, meaning we were able to head to the park for a poetry picnic on Thursday. I brought sandwiches, apples, brownies, and milk for the big girls, a bottle for the baby, and four books. We spread out a blanket, and the girls ate while I read aloud. Here's what they heard:

  • "Casey at the Bat" by Ernest Lawrence Thayer from Great Story Poems edited by Theodoric Jones, illustrated by Frank Bolle
    I've been wanting to read this poem to Miss Muffet (age 4 years, 4 months) because even though I knew she wouldn't understand the whole thing, I thought she would love the way it sounds. I was right. This book also has line drawing illustrations to accompany each poem, so those helped contextualize what was happening. It occurred to me when I was reading it that, despite having gone to see the Durham Bulls every summer since birth, she doesn't know the concept of "three strikes and you're out." We'll have to work on that when we go to a game this summer, and then we can read the poem again.
  • Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, illustrated by Paul Galdone
    Miss Muffet has a developing interest in the Revolutionary War, so that prompted me to choose this picture book. The illustrations are great - even Bo Peep (age 2.5) enjoyed them - and the rhythm of the poem appealed to all three girls, including Jumping Joan (6 mos.)
  • All That Sunlight by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by Walter Stein
    Miss Muffet received this book as a gift from my mom for Easter. The poems are very short, so we read the entire collection. Poems include child-friendly meditations on colors, friendship, flowers, and weather. A few were familiar to me, but many others were new. This is also a book Miss Muffet is able to read independently, so I may invite her to read to us from it again on a future picnic.
  • If Not for the Cat by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Ted Rand
    This collection of haiku about animals was the hit of the picnic. Miss Muffet and Bo Peep loved calling out the name of each animal as its poem was read, and the illustrations were very engaging for them as well. 
The girls are all at great ages for poetry picnics this year. The older two are great at sitting and listening and the baby isn't big enough yet to get into much trouble. So I am hoping we'll be able to do this twice a month or even weekly as we get into the summer. 

1 comment:

  1. I love this idea! What a great way to integrate poetry and spending time in the great outdoors :) I've recently started reading my toddler boy poems from the book "Saintly Rhymes for Modern times" during lunch and he's been enjoying it. When he gets older, we'll have to head outside and bring more poetry with us! (the park near our house also has a short wooden stage that someday, I am hoping I can persuade my kids to use when we do poetry recitations).