Poetry is FUN!

Yesterday was the kick-off for National Poetry Month! The Lawrence Public Library teamed with the The Lawrence Arts Center for “Poetry Off the Page“, a month of poetry themed activities of which Sunday Storytime is a part of! Woot!! Which means over that past few weeks I’ve been compiling poetry books, crafts, and activities to do throughout the month in celebration. Three cheers for poetry!

Each Sunday in April will have a different poetry theme, and since the first one landed on April Fools Day, yesterday’s storytime was all about playful and silly poetry. After we had our laughs, the kids made leaves to go on the library’s Poetree.

“Poetry is FUN!” Storytime Line-up:

Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes

“Hey Diddle, Diddle”

Hey diddle diddle,
The Cat and the fiddle,
The Cow jumped over the moon,
The little Dog laughed to see such sport,
And the Dish ran away with the Spoon.

I started out with saying that we’ve been reciting poetry since we were all very little and you might not have known it, because those old Mother Goose nursery rhymes like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, “Humpty Dumpty”, and “Hey Diddle, Diddle” are poetry. And silly poetry at that. So, we started with a flannel (our library has this version) of “Hey Diddle Diddle” of which all the kids were able to recite along with me.

Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss

I was planning on including the Dr. Seuss book Green Eggs and Ham, but my co-worker and storytime mentor encouraged me to read Horton instead. She is so very wise. It’s a lengthy read, but if you ham it up, it’s a great book for storytime. I mean… how can you have a funny poetry storytime without the king of whimsy and rhyme?

Shel Silverstein Poems

“Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too” by Shel Silverstein

Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too
Went for a ride in a flying shoe.
“What fun!”
“It’s time we flew!”
Said Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

Ickle was captain, and Pickle was crew
And Tickle served coffee and mulligan stew
As higher
And higher
And higher they flew,
Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too,
Over the sun and beyond the blue.
“Hold on!”
“Stay in!”
“I hope we do!”
Cried Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle too
Never returned to the world they knew,
And nobody
Knows what’s
Happened to
Dear Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me too.

“For Sale” by Shel Silverstein

One sister for sale!
One sister for sale!
One crying and spying young sister for sale!
I’m really not kidding,
So who’ll start the bidding?
Do I hear the dollar?
A nickel?
A penny?
Oh, isn’t there, isn’t there, isn’t there any
One kid that will buy this old sister for sale,
This crying and spying young sister for sale?

Like Dr. Seuss, I feel like Shel Silverstein is a must if you’re reading funny poems to kids. The two above I read from my favorite poetry collection of his, Where the Sidewalk Ends.

To Market, To Market by Anne Miranda, illustrated by Janet Stevens

Another nursery rhyme, but adapted in the form of a picture book with illustrations by one of my favorites, Janet Stevens. Lots of giggling went on while reading this one.

Silly Sally by Audry Wood

“Silly Sally went to town, walking backwards upside down…” a classic hit of a very silly lady named Sally and another demonstration that a lot of the picture books read are also poems. What fun!

Poetree Craft:

When I was looking for fun activities for kids to do during poetry month, I came across the idea of making a Poet Tree or Poetree, which I thought would be a great way to display children’s poetry at the library. Why not? This is how the kids of Lawrence and I created a Poetree…..

First, I had to make a tree. A gentleman over at Kansas Tree Care donated beautiful tree limbs to use. I swiped one of the library’s trashcans and purchased a bag of sand and twine and voila…

Well, it wasn’t just like “voila”. The branches were tied together with twine and I had a co-worker help pour sand into the trashcan while I held the branches upright.

Now for the craft…

To make Poetree leaves, I used old blank stationary cards, fabric, poems, ribbon, scissors, a hole-punch, tape, and leaf stencils I made from cardstock.

Before storytime I typed up and printed out a variety of poems, mostly about reading and books and poetry and cut them out.

I also traced leaves on fabric.

And cut them out. I didn’t have to do this, but I have kids from 2-10 at storytime and this makes it easier on the little ones (and the caregivers).

After storytime, the kids picked out a poem they liked and glued it or taped it on one side of the card. I also encouraged them to write their own if they liked.

They picked out a leaf and glued it on the other side.

Decorated their leaves with crayons and hole-punched the top to tie with ribbon.

They made one to hang outside at home…

…and one for the library’s Poetree!

I’ll have a table with blank leaves next to the Poetree later this week if you’d like to add one of your own.

Come on down and help us grow our Poetree!

image source: poet’s tree, hey diddle diddle, horton hatches the egg, ickle me, pickle me, tickle me too, to market to market, silly sally


8 Responses to “Poetry is FUN!”


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  1. […] storytimes throughout the month of April are themed around poetry. A couple weeks ago was Poetry is FUN! Storytime, where we focused on how silly poetry can be. This week’s focus was how poems are also […]

  2. […] After the “Poetry is FUN” storytime on April 1st, I invited the kids who attended to make a poem leaf that would decorate the PoeTree. Using old stationary cards found in the library basement, fabric, ribbon, and poems, the children made poem leaves that now decorate the PoeTree. (You can read more about how Rebecca created the leaves here.) […]

  3. […] The Poetree has been growing. It was also recently featured on Library as Incubator Project. How neat is that? […]

  4. […] last day of April and the last day of National Poetry Month and the day before yesterday was last poetry-themed Sunday Storytime, “Poetry is Music”. We were very fortunate to have a couple special guests, local […]

  5. […] of children. You can read about the books read and the activities created in the following posts:  “Poetry is FUN!” Storytime, “Poetry as Story” Storytime, “Poetry in Nature” Storytime, “Poetry […]

  6. […] if you want a bit more poetry fun try Building a Poem, a Haiku Scroll, or this Poetree. image via Sturdy for Common […]

  7. […] Head to Sturdy for Common Things to see a Storytime poetry line-up and beautiful poet-tree display activity. […]

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