My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Family Ideas for National Poetry Month

Since the first explosion of Haikus on my blog, I haven't written much more poetry. So now in honor of National Poetry Month, I'd like to introduce some Redneck Parenting Tips for incorporating National Poetry Month into your family life.

Tip #1
Come up with rhyming meals like Eggs and Legs (chicken, of course, with deviled eggs). I asked my kids to help me some up with some other rhyming menu items. They came up with Baloney and Macaroni, Ham and lamb (for the low carb diet?), Steak and cake, Potatoes and Tomatoes. Cheese and Peas. etc. Of course, actually preparing these meals is optional, the fun is in coming up with them. Great dinner table conversation.

Tip #2
Ask your kids to define 'poem'. Once you get them past the whole 'rhyming' thing, their answers will probably be as hilarious as they were at my house. My son said that if a poem doesn't rhyme it's in a dreamy, floaty kind of talk that you never do in real life. Hmmm...All in all, they prefer the rhyme.

Tip #3
Share some favorite poems with them and ask them what they think they mean. A teacher at our 3-5 school (an AG teacher who teaches all grades) asked my girls to memorize a poem a week for all three years they were there, so they have quite a repertoire, but they didn't always know what they meant. It's fun to look up the history of a poem together, too, because something like O Captain, My Captain by Walt Whitman was actually dedicated to Abraham Lincoln. Lots of poems have interesting stories behind them, and they're just a google away.

Tip #4
Write some poetry together. Limericks are a good place to start, but don't let your husband use any examples he learned in his fraternity house. I started doing this with my boys the first night of April, and every night since they've begged for more. We've written lots of poems, mostly goofy and mostly about them, this month. I should be writing them down. Plus, we've been reading poetry before bed every night.

Lastly, I flipped on HBO last night and there was a great poetry program on about kids and poetry. It lasted about 30 minutes, and it was quite good. I'm going to try to figure out when it comes on again, so I can watch it with my kids. If anyone wants to try and look it up, it was on about 8:30 or 9:00 last night on one of the HBO channels.

I'm so thrilled with how excited my kids have gotten about all this poetry stuff I've been pushing on them, I mean, enjoying with them. So try it yourself with your family! Have a great Sunday! xoox


WordWrangler said...

great idea! My hubby is stuck on the idea that poetry HAS to rhyme. He says, "A monkey has a tail. An ape doesn't. If it doesn't rhyme, it's not a poem."

Now, I'm not really sure how those things are connected in his mind. Monkeys and apes are both primates, yes? Rhyming poems and non-rhyming poems are both part of the same POETRY family, yes? Egads, let me stop rambling before I digress even further.

THe point is... I like your blog! :)

BTW -- I liked your haiku on Jody's site, too!


Donna Jones Koppelman said...

Thanks, Donna. I appreciate you visiting. Please come again! I love your husband's analogy, though. It cracked me up. We have to marry these practical men, though, if we're going to wax poetic. Are you Donna from SCBWI Carolinas? The same one I ate dinner with Friday night?

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman