Kids love words. Kids love to use words. Kids love the creative spontaneity and fun of knowing and using words. Having fun with POEMS is a wonderful way to hear, see and use words with kids. I will be highlighting a different poem each day in January, for kids of all ages… but if you have any special poems, let me know. I’d love to include them in this month of poetry!
On this first day of 2011, when everyone seems to be talking about and making resolutions for the New Year, take a few moments to share this poem and this little activity with your child or children. You will be amazed at their responses…
The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams
so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white
If your child can read, have him/her read the poem aloud. Or read the poem to your child. Talk about the great big meaning of resolutions for the New Year… then talk about the beauty, importance and happiness in the very ordinary, very simple things in our lives. A wheelbarrow, so often overlooked but so necessary and utilitarian. Water. Chickens. The great contrast of the colors red and white… and how colors add so much beauty to our world.
Talk about which very ordinary and very simple things enhance your lives… things you often overlook. You may hear answers like “peanut butter & jelly” or “my pillow” or “my sneakers” or “my crayons” or “my nightlight.” All answers are correct! Talk about how the simple things can actually help make our great big resolutions easier to achieve. Food. Sleep. Creativity. Love.
Children love words. Children love to use words, have fun with words, talk about words… and remember words. The simple beauty of The Red Wheelbarrow teaches elegance of language, extraordinary imagery and the basic truth and intricacies of life… even very, very young children understand and grasp these concepts. The poem itself is like the brush stokes of a marvelous painting. Let your children in on the magic!
When the first day of 2011 is coming to a close, your children will have the words of one of the world’s most celebrated poems, written by a Pulitzer Prize winning poet, dancing in their heads. And they will remember.
Literacy begins with words… Spoken, Written, Felt.