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Yes, we do poetry memory every day...or almost anyway. :tongue_smilie:


When my guys are in preschool we start by learning tons of Mother Goose rhymes. Then in K/1 we focus on Robert Louis Stevenson mainly with a few exceptions. Then in 2nd and beyond we do various selections from FLL, Harp and Laurel Wreath, A Family of Poems and other poems we come across here and there. Starting in 4th we begin to focus on more (what I would consider) classic poems: I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, The Road Not Taken (my favorite all-time poem b/c it has taken me a long time to fall in love with poetry and this was the first poem I had an emotional connection with!), Invictus...and because my 5th grader is passionate about all things military last year he memorized Charge of the Light Brigade. :001_smile:

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Oh, it's hard to choose just one! Some of our favorite poetry books can be found on this post: http://threelittlejewells.com/?s=poetry


My kids have memorized loads of poetry without any idea that they were doing the work of memorizing! Each year I pick 4-6 new poems that I want them to memorize that are just fun. And I also go through and pick some poems to read that are specific to each season or holiday. Almost every day we spend 5-10 minutes reading poetry out loud. I read through the 4-6 that I want them to memorize daily. Plus I read a few extras from the season/holiday list of poems that they may or may not memorize. So, for instance, last fall, almost every single day we read "The Panther", "The Grizzly Bear" just for fun. Then then also "Fog", "Autumn", "November Night", "The Mist and All" we read daily, just because they are gorgeous poems. These they had partially memorized but we haven't read them since last November. We'll start them again in two weeks and I'm looking forward to them- it's like seeing old friends again!


This semester they'll be memorizing "Go the the Ant", "The Turtle". We'll be reading all those fun fall poems. In late November we'll move on to poems centering around Thanksgiving & then Christmas. Then in Jan. we start the winter poems. But all the while, we'll still keep reading "Go to the Ant" and "The Turtle" daily. And also revisiting last years poems- "Grizzly Bear", "The Panther", "The Diving Board", "Those Old Folks Inside You", "Woulda Coulda Shoulda", "What Do They DO?" and "Let's Be Merry" on a regular basis.


Here are some of our favorites:


Grizzly Bear


(Mary Austin)

If you meet a grizzly bear

You must never never ask him

where he is going,

Or what he is doing,

For if you ever ever dare,

You will never meet

another grizzly bear.

(and then at the end my kids tack on this line, which they shout "Because you'll be bear poop in a week!" they came up with that little addition on their own, which I think is pretty funny!)



The Panther by Ogden Nash

The panther is like a leopard,

Except it hasn't been peppered.

Should you behold a panther crouch,

Prepare to say Ouch.

Better yet, if called by a panther,

Don't anther.



The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsay


There was a little turtle.

He lived in a box.

He swam in a puddle.

He climbed on the rocks.


He snapped at a mosquito.

He snapped at a flea.

He snapped at a minnow.

And he snapped at me.


He caught the mosquito.

He caught the flea.

He caught the minnow.

But he didn't catch me.



The Mist and All


by Dixie Willson

(To be read slowly and quietly)


I like the fall

The mist and all

I like the night owl’s lonely call

And wailing sound

Of wind around

I like the gray

November day

And dead, bare boughs that coldly sway

Against my pane

I like the rain

I like to sit

And laugh at it

And tend my cozy fire a bit

I like the fall

The mist and all





November Night

Listen. .

With faint dry sound,

Like steps of passing ghosts,

The leaves, frost-crisp'd, break from the trees

And fall.





THE fog comes

on little cat feet.


It sits looking

over harbor and city

on silent haunches

and then moves on.




by Emily Dickinson

The morns are meeker than they were,

The nuts are getting brown;

The berry’s cheek is plumper,

The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf,

The field a scarlet gown.

Lest I should be old-fashioned,

I’ll put a trinket on.


Let's Be Merry by Christina Rosetti

Mother shake the cherry-tree,

Susan catch a cherry;

Oh how funny that will be,

Let's be merry!

One for brother, one for sister,

Two for mother more,

Six for father, hot and tired,

Knocking at the door.


The Folks Inside By Shel Silverstein Pg. 144

Inside you, boy,

There’s an old man sleepin’,

Dreamin’ waitin’ for his chance.

Inside you, girl,

There’s an old lady dozin’,

Wantin’ to show you a slower dance.


So keep on playin’,

Keep on runnin’,

Keep on jumpin’, til the day

That those old folks

Down inside you

Wake up … and come out and play.


Diving Board by Shel Silverstein

You’ve been up on that diving board

Making sure that it’s nice and straight.

You’ve made sure that it’s not too slick.

You’ve made sure it can stand the weight.

You’ve made sure that the spring is tight.

You’ve made sure that the cloth won’t slip.

You’ve made sure that it bounces right,

And that your toes can get a grip –

And you’ve been up there since half past five

Doin’ everything… but DIVE.


Woulda Coulda Shoulda by Shel Silverstein

All the woulda-coulda-shouldas

Layin’ in the sun,

Talkin’ ‘bout the things

They woulda-coulda-shouldas done …

But those woulda-coulda-shouldas

All ran away and hid

From one little did.

Edited by FlyingMOm
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Picking a favorite would be impossible but here are a few we especially love...


April Rain Song by Langston Hughes


The Land of Storybooks by Robert Louis Stevenson


Rickety Train Ride by Tony Mitton


I'm taking the train to Ricketywick.

Clickety clickety clack.

I'm sat in my seat.

With a sandwich to eat.

As I travel the trickety track.


It's an ever so rickety trickety train,

And I honestly thickety think.

That before it arrives

At the end of the line

It will tip up my drippety drink.


(You can perfectly feel the rhythm of the train when you read this poem! I like to bob up and down when I read it. It's from my favorite book of poetry for very young children, Here's a Little Poem)


Kindness to Animals, Author Unknown


Little children, never give

Pain to things that feel and live;

Let the gentle robin come

For the crumbs you save at home;

As his meat you throw along

He'll repay you with a song.

Never hurt the timid hare

Peeping from her green grass lair,

Let her come and sport and play

On the lawn at close of day.

The little lark goes soaring high

To the bright windows of the sky,

Singing as if 'twere always spring,

And fluttering on an untired wing--

Oh! let him sing his happy song,

Nor do these gentle creatures wrong



A Worker Reads History by Bertolt Brecht



My two personal favorites...


When Mother Reads Aloud, Author Unknown


When Mother reads aloud, the past

Seems real as every day;

I hear the tramp of armies vast,

I see the spears and lances cast,

I join the thrilling fray;

Brave knights and ladies fair and proud

I meet when Mother reads aloud. When Mother reads aloud, far lands

Seem very near and true;

I cross the deserts’ gleaming sands,

Or hunt the jungle’s prowling bands,

Or sail the ocean blue.

Far heights, whose peaks the cold mists shroud,

I scale, when Mother reads aloud.

When Mother reads aloud, I long

For noble deeds to do...

To help the right, redress the wrong;

It seems so easy to be strong,

So simple to be true.

Oh, thick and fast the visions crowd

My eyes, when Mother reads aloud.



The Reading Mother by Strickland Gillilan


I had a mother who read to me

Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,

Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,

"Blackbirds" stowed in the hold beneath.

I had a Mother who read me lays

Of ancient and gallant and golden days;

Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,

Which every boy has a right to know.

I had a Mother who read me tales


Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,

True to his trust till his tragic death,

Faithfulness blent with his final breath.

I had a Mother who read me the things

That wholesome life to the boy heart brings--

Stories that stir with an upward touch,

Oh, that each mother of boys were such!

You may have tangible wealth untold;

Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.

Richer than I you never can be--

I had a Mother who read to me.


(I seriously want the last four lines on my gravestone.)


We do tea and poetry almost daily here, right after quiet time. Sometimes it is simple and sometimes it is fancy. I try to keep the snack and poetry selections seasonal. I read some selections while the kids eat and then they each read me a poem they have chosen. We do not make this about purposeful memorization, but because I repeat favorites per the kids' request, I find that it comes naturally for the ones they love most.


For poems I want them to memorize, they practice in the mornings as part of our "Together Time." This is the time of the morning when we do our calendar, weather, special/current events, skip counting, etc. We are going to start MCT's Island level this year and I'm excited for that!


Edited by Alte Veste Academy
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Yes. I picked out 12 poems for my two oldest dd's to split (6 each) this year. I found them mostly in the McGuffey readers and Primary Language Lessons book, and a few in The Book of Virtues.


We go over the poem a couple of times a day, 4 days/week. We just finished our fourth week and they have these two poems memorized. They'll both be starting a new poem on Monday.


My dd5 (and dd3, just from hearing it over and over) has just memorized "Try Try Again"


'Tis a lesson you should heed,

Try, try again;

If at first you don't succeed,

Try, try again;

Then your courage should appear,

For, if you will persevere,

You will conquer, never fear;

Try, try again.


My dd7 just memorized "If I knew"- Maud Wyman


If I knew a box where the smiles are kept,

No matter how large the key

Or strong the bolt, I would try so hard

‘Twould open, I know, for me;

Then over the land and the sea broadcast,

I’d scatter the smiles to play,

That the children’s faces might hold them fast

For many and many a day.


If I knew a box that was large enough

To hold all the frowns I meet,

I would like to gather them every one,

From nursery, school, and street;

Then folding and holding, I’d pack them in,

And turning the monster key,

I’d hire a giant to drop the box

To the depths of the deep, deep sea.

- Maud Wyman

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My personal favorite is The Swing by Robert Louis Stevenson. For poetry, we read different anthologies, some classics, some silly, and Ariel memorizes different poems. She's currently working on Frost's Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening, which she chose herself.

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Some wonderful poems I'd never heard! Thank you all. I also just read poems over and over, and my older DS memorizes them. I don't know if I can pick a favorite. I'm excited to read "When the Frost is on the Punkin" by James Whitcomb Riley, and "hist whist" by e.e. cummings this fall. I also love "little tree" by cummings for Christmas time.

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We do incorporate poetry and go over it every day. We learn a poem a month. Here's what we're going to learn this year: (boys are in 2nd and 3rd grade, btw)

August - Five Eyes by Walter de la Mare (they are loving this one)

September - Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (this is one of my absolute favorite poems)

October - From a Railway Carriage by Robert Louis Stevenson

November - Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow from Macbeth by Shakespeare

December -A Visit From St. Nicholas by Clement Moore

January - A Bird by Emily Dickinson

February- All The World's a Stage from As You Like It by Shakespeare

March - Sweet and Low by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

April - April Rain Song by Langston Hughes and Until I saw the Sea by Lilian Moore

May - Nurse's Song by William Blake


I chose these pieces from an anthology of children's poetry. By the end of the month we will also have copied the poem and illustrated it and put it in our notebook.

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