Chasing Cheerios

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Our Poetry Basket

We recently started a poetry basket, and both girls LOVE it!  When I read about poetry baskets on My Montessori Journey, I knew it was something I wanted to try because it's something I could do with both girls.  I had no idea they would love it as much as they did!

I chose the poem A Chubby Little Snowman for our first poem (found at Can Teach).  I printed the poem and put a dot under each word.  I gathered a snowman, a bunch of carrots, and a rabbit for our basket.  I glued a plastic eyeball to a craft stick, but it fell off the first time we used it (the girls didn't seem to care, but I'll probably glue it back).  I read the poem to the girls while touching each dot under the words and while acting out the poem with the props.  I then read it a second time while they acted it out with the props. 

O was very interested in the poem itself, while E loved acting it out.  I loved watching E make the bunny eat the snowman's nose, and she then pretended like the bunny was eating her nose.  E also liked holding the craft stick and pointing at the words while saying her version of the it!   I was amazed when O recited the poem after I'd read it to them twice...she was REALLY paying attention.  I expected her to learn it after about a week and had no idea that she'd memorize it immediately.  She has proudly recited the poem each day for her grandparents and daddy.  I guess that shouldn't surprise me since the child has an amazing memory, and I  knew that memorizing a poem would appeal to her since Laura and Mary (from the Little House on the Prairie books) have to recite poems and lessons.  A couple of days after starting this activity, we were reading an American Girl book, and Kirsten had to memorize a poem to recite to her class...that made this activity even more thrilling for O. 

I encourage everyone to do this simple activity with your children.  After seeing how much E has enjoyed this activity at only 16 months old, I wish I'd started doing something like this with O years ago.  I plan to have a new poem and poetry basket for the girls each month, and I'll probably keep a binder of the poems, so we can look back and read and recite them over and over again.

O asked me to make sure her "beautiful ring" was in the picture!


  1. How cute! I've never thought about doing something like this, thanks for the inspiration! I bet a lot of finger play songs would work well for this idea.

  2. Great idea and an awesome way to connect it to another book. Love it!

  3. love this poem. my daughter's class sang it in the preschool christmas show (replacing bunny with reindeer).

  4. Too cute! I think I'll take your advice. Thank you for sharing.

  5. I'm so glad you are doing this with your little O and E. I should do this at home with my boys.

  6. I have to do this with my boys. I will be a great English lesson for them:)
    Thank you for sharing!

  7. Great idea. Thank you! I will do this with my girls and I'm sure they will love it:)

  8. That is a brilliant idea! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Hi Melissa!

    We currently featured an article at our blog about bridging the gap between reading and writing >> Kindergarten Lesson Plans. One step teachers can employ in the classroom is to reinforce the concept that "you can hear the individual words in a sentence". We loved how you set up this poem in your poetry basket {denoting each word with a dot that allows students to follow along & visually see the distinction between each word} and wondered if you would mind us using your image to exemplify the method. {Proper photo credit will be given!} We'd love for you to take a look at the post and, if there are any problems, we'll be sure to take the photo down immediately!

    Thanks so much,
    Kayla Johnson