Introducing Young Children to Poetry

“Owl, what is poetry?” “Oh, poetry! Poetry is bright stars in the branches, moonlight on the grass, and silent wings to take me wherever I go. Goodnight, dear Daniel,” she whispers, and flies off into the night.

Introducing young children to poetry fosters literary creative expression and emotional awareness. Poetry exposes children to higher vocabulary through an aspect of literature that carries a distinct style and rhythm, while teaching the process of expressing oneself through words. Self expression is key in the development of children. The cognitive ability to understand, process and cope with emotions leads to positive self identity plus empathy.

Micha Archer’s Daniel Finds a Poem, takes the reader through the magical journey and wonder of poetry.  The text is filled with layers of vivid imagery and set in paper cuts. The captivating illustrations are done in oil and collage, using tissue paper and patterned papers created with homemade stamps. This unique collaboration enhances the story’s overall message.

One Monday morning, our young protagonist Daniel, spots a new sign on the park gate.

Poetry In The Park                                                               Sunday At 6 O’Clock                    

 When Daniel asks, “What is poetry?”, he receives a sudden answer from one of nature’s most intricate weavers, a spider. “To me, poetry is when morning dew glistens.” This response is the commencement of Daniel’s journey in finding the meaning of poetry. Every day, he encounters a different insect or animal while mediating upon the answer to his question. He learns what poetry signifies to each one; a metaphor for how nature is a profound source of inspiration to poets.

Come Sunday morning, Daniel wakes up in elation. “Today is poetry in the park,” says Daniel, “and I have a poem!” Daniel gathers what poetry means to each of his encounters and creatively pieces their words. He recites this creation of art for an audience at the park.

On his way home, Daniel stops to watch the sunset sky reflecting in the pond. “That looks like poetry to me.” “To me too, says Dragonfly.

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