I've long been inspired by the work of Georgia Heard. Last year, I used many of her ideas from Awakening the Heart during a poetry unit. You can read more about what we did here, here, and here . Now, Georgia Heard has collaborated with Lester Laminak to create a wonderful curriculum that includes these ideas and more. Climb Inside a Poem (Heinemann) helps teachers encourage and inspire all children to be poets. The simple, well-organized lessons can be taught as a unit or throughout the year as short, daily poetry experiences.
Children learn to notice poetry in ordinary things, to describe small, everyday moments in fresh new ways, to love the sound of words, to be curious and wonder, to feel and write from their hearts. Each lesson introduces a poem, offers ideas for exploring it in greater depth, and teaches important craft lessons. We learn about the poets, their lives and work, and are offered some "poet-to-poet" advice to share with our young writers.
We've just launched our study of poetry for this year and I love the lessons in these books! It's hard to choose what to teach next or how to fit it all in. I only wish I had this curriculum at the start of the year!
This is one of the poems by X.J. Kennedy. In this lesson, children learn how to find poetry in an ordinary, routine event.
When Mom goes to the laundromat
I come along. I’m old
Enough to carry stacks of stuff
And I know how to fold.
We shell out quarters. Underwear
Swirls in a soapy waltz,
Socks leapfrog over other socks,
Pop’s pants do somersaults.
We drag ’em out. The dryer drum
Starts overturning. See
My bathrobe rock-and-rolling round—
More action than TV!
And when at last we’re driving home
I dream beside a pile
Of fresh clean clothes and toast my face.
Hey, that’s my favorite mile.
– By X. J. Kennedy
You can see more samples of poems and lessons at the Heinemann site.