Day 14: 365 Days of Literacy for Kids – Fun, Easy & Completely Do-able

“To read a poem in January is as lovely as to go for a walk in June. – Jean-Paul Satre.

POETRY is the theme for January’s Teachable Moments in my 365 Days of Literacy for KidsReading a poem to a child is like singing a little song.  It’s talking to the universe.  It’s taking a walk with a poet.  It’s feeling words from the inside out.  Every theme imaginable has been put to words in poetry… but poems about the the deep love a parent has for a child are especially lovely.

Today, take a walk with your children to Africa where we’ll visit the Akan people and feel a love that has no bounds…

LULLABY –  Akan, Africa

Someone would like to have you for her child
But you are mine.
Someone would like to rear you on a costly mat
But you are mine.
Someone would like to place you on a camel blanket
But you are mine.
I have to rear you on a torn old mat.
Someone would like to have you as her child
But you are mine.

Read the poem with your children.  Talk about the speaker of the poem.  Is the speaker a man or a woman?  (The word her in the first line is a good tip that another woman is admiring the child, and the speaker of the poem is a mother.)  Is this mother/speaker wealthy?  Is the other woman wealthy?  How do we know?  What does it mean to “rear” a child?  Does the speaker/mother know that this other woman could buy the child nice things and take the child to nice places?  What does the speaker/mother say to let the child know that no-one and nothing could take her child from her?  (But you are mine.) 4 very simple words that make 1 very simple phrase… that means everything in the world.  The speaker/mother knows she cannot give her child riches (costly mats and camel blankets) and she knows that she cannot take her child to exotic places, but HER LOVE IS GREATER THAN ALL THAT.  The speaker/mother may not have more than a torn old mat, but her heart is filled with the richness of love.

This little Akan poem takes us all the way across the world to let us know that mothers everywhere think the same way.  LULLABY expresses this love in a way we can feel.  Have you ever said to your children something like it doesn’t matter what so-and-so has… we have each other and that’s way more special. BUT YOU ARE MINE. It doesn’t get any more clear or better than this!   When literature and life connect, LITERACY happens.  It’s all about the words:  Written, Spoken, Felt.

Day 14: 365 Days of Literacy for Kids – Fun, Easy & Completely Do-able was last modified: January 14th, 2011 by Sharon Couto
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Day 14: 365 Days of Literacy for Kids – Fun, Easy & Completely Do-able was last modified: January 14th, 2011 by Sharon Couto