‘They just don’t learn poetry anymore…’

Back in January,  Bee and I had a grumble about how children don’t learn by rote anymore. And then with a giggle and another cup of tea we decided to do something about it. We would encourage (bribe?) our respective children aged between 12 and 2 years to learn a poem each holiday. We are now learning our fourth poem and I am amazed at how quickly they can learn by rote especially when there is a pound reward at stake. It has been a great success and even my three-year old knows the first verse of ‘The Owl and the Pussy Cat’ as she has heard it so often. My nine-year old’s attitude towards poetry is softening as he had a fit when I first mooted the idea and expressed himself by saying, “What is wrong with poetry? The are rubbish! I hate listening to poems. I hate reading poems. They are so rubbish. Everything is wrong with poetry!” Learning poetry has led to interesting conversations especially when we were learning the poem ‘Daddy Fell into the Pond’. Did he fall or was he pushed – and if so who did the dastardly deed?!

Bee bought me a book which I can recommend if you too want to introduce poetry to children, it is called ‘I Like This Poem’. and is an anthology of poems chosen by children for children.

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