One trick to getting children involved with poetry is to give poetry its own special day of the week! You can choose any day and use your circle time as the place to introduce the poems with fun and gusto. Write a poem on chart paper and use a special prop — a "poem hat," puppet, or costume — to capture the children's attention. Remember to practice the poem before you perform it with the same dramatic elements that you would use in reading a story. Children will be enthralled by your performance and will want you to do it over and over again. And you can! Poems said at group time can be repeated throughout the day.

Here is one of my Poem Day favorites from Great Britain, "Dickery, Dickery, Dare":

Dickery, dickery, dare,
The pig flew up in the air!
The man in brown
Soon brought him down!
Dickery, dickery, dare.

Children love this silly rhyme and how easy it is to create their own versions of it. Invite them to suggest what else would be silly to see fly in the air. (Flying whales? A buffalo? A crocodile?) Add one to the poem and say it again.

Extension Activity

Make copies of the "Poem Day" poems each week so children can save them in a cherished poetry journal. They will delight in adding their own illustrations and rhymes to the collection throughout the year.