Zoom Poetry Club!

Poetry for Children ~ at home

 

Many moons ago, I used to hold a Poetry Club in the bookshop for children aged 7 – 10 years old. While pondering how best I could help with ‘home-schooling’ my four grand-children, I realised that the obvious thing for me to do was to establish a way of reading and enjoying poetry in the virtual world – hence the Zoom Poetry Club! The first one was such fun to do that I thought I could offer it not just to my grand-children but to any who might like it – so jump in, and enjoy yourselves!

Just a tip, I encourage the children to have blank paper and crayons/felt tips etc on the table while we are ‘zooming’, and I invite them to doodle during any of the longer poems ~ this seems to help them to listen!  Short poems I often read more than once.  I don’t ask the children to analyse the poems in any way at all – these sessions are all about the fun and pleasure of listening to the rhymes and rhythms, the musicality of the poems. 

Poems we read

Ask Mummy Ask Daddy by John Agar

When I ask Daddy
Daddy says ask Mummy
When I ask Mummy
Mummy says ask Daddy.
I don’t know where to go.
Better ask my teddy
he never says no.

from The Kingfisher Book of Family Poems edited by Belinda Hollyer; Holly Swain, published by by Kingfisher

 

Everybody Says by Dorothy Aldis

Everybody says
I look just like my mother.
Everybody says
I’m the image of Aunt Bee.
Everybody says
My nose is like my father’s
But I want to look like ME!

 

A Musical Family by John Mole

I can play the piano
I am nearly three.
I can play the long white note
That Mum calls Middle C.

Dad can play the clarinet.
My sister plays the fiddle,
But I’m the one who hits the piano
Slap bang in the middle.

 

The Car Trip by Michael Rosen from Orange, Silver, Sausage edited by James Carter & Graham Denton, published by Walker Books.

My Mum Says by Alison Chisolm from Orange, Silver, Sausage edited by James Carter & Graham Denton, published by Walker Books.

The poems below are all from Haven’t you Grown! poems about families selected by Belinda Hollyer, published by Kingfisher.

Kisses by Ian Souter

Newcomers by Michael Rosen

Victoria’s Poem by Fred Sedgwick

Millicent’s Mother by Jeff Moss

Billy is Blowing his Trumpet by Anon

Pity your Parents by Roger Woddis

Soap by Martin Gardner

Emma Hackett’s Newsbook by Allan Ahlberg

My Brother’s on the floor roaring by Michael Rosen

Billy is Blowing his Trumpet ~ Illustration by Holly Swain

Here are some of the activities that your children can do after the Zoom Poetry Club!

 

Draw a big picture of your house and show some of the different things you do in it, like …

  • cooking in the kitchen – who does this?
  • watching TV/play station – who does this?
  • having breakfast – where? what time?
  • doing homework – who does this?
  • playing in the garden – who does this?
  • what else do you do in your house or garden?

Draw round the outlines of the hands of everyone in your house.
Cut them out.
Decorate them however you want to (bright colours? rainbows? flowers? footballs?) Stick them on to a large piece of paper or to the inside of a window.

 

Make a gingerbread family!

Get the method here!

This is very funny!  “My Brother” by Terry Scott 

A regular favourite! “The Car Trip” by Michael Rosen.

Choose someone in your family that you haven’t seen for a while. Ask them questions based on: 

“When you were my age ~”

  • Where did you live?
  • Where did you go to school?
  • What was your favourite thing about school?
  • Who was your best friend?
  • What was your worst thing at school?
  • Who was your favourite teacher – why?
  • Who was living in your house with you?
  • Did your Mum have a job?
  • Did your Dad have a job?
  • Who did you share a bedroom with?
  • What did you want to be when you grew up?
  • Where was your favourite place to go on holiday? Why?
  • Did you have pocket money?
  • Did you have to do jobs in the house?
  • If you could go back in time and tell yourself something, what would it be?

Now, set up a time when you can Zoom, or phone, or write to that person – and then do it!

The Waltons

This is a lovely old TV series set in the Blue Ridge Mountans of Virginia in the 1930s.  Can you find that area on a map?

There are seven children in this family, two parents and two grand-parents.  Guess how old each of them is and then work out the average age of the family!  What is the average age of your family?

Everyone in this family either works on the land, or in the house (or both).  What can you find out about what was happening in the 1930s in America?

The children in this family walk to school in bare feet!  How else do you think the chidlren’s lives are different from yours? What don’t they have that you have? Can you make a list?

Do you know any families where the grand-parents live with the family?  Can you write a story, or draw a picture, to show what you think would be good (or bad) about this?

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