How to teach a poem to kids in less than 2 minutes and love every moment of it…
Join me each day for my 31 Days of Poems to make your kids shine in school/learning/literacy.
One joy of poetry that children love is its power to explain something simple or ordinary in an imaginative way.
Take the sun, for instance. In just a few syllables, 20th century French poet Paul Eluard gives us 5 brilliant images that make the sun come alive. Get ready, because here comes the sun…
from FIVE HAIKU by Paul Eluard
Ah! a thousand flames, a fire,
The light, a shadow!
The sun is following me.
Read this poem with your children. (You may wish to read the first 2 lines, stop and ask your children “what” is being described.)
Who is the speaker, or voice, of the poem (me)? The one who reads or recites the poem also becomes the speaker (me). This technique gives the reader ownership of the poem’s words and feelings.
The poet has an obvious love of the sun and finds the sun very entertaining. How do we know this? Note the exclamation points after the words Ah! and shadow! Note that the poet describes the sun as the light; possibly the best light there is.
Note how poet Paul Eluard works in his sun imagery:
1. a thousand flames
2. a fire
3. the light
4. a shadow
5. the sun is given life and the ability to follow me.
The poet also gives us a thought-provoking contrast… the sun is both the light and a shadow-maker. Light of all light and darkness in the creation of shadows.
This little poem brings children into this wonderful light and gives us new ways to describe the sun. Ask your children to think of other words or phrases that can be added to the poem’s description of the sun (illumination, sparkle, solar).
If possible, head outside to see for yourselves how this little poem comes to life as the sun shines brightly and/or follows you in shadow-making. Take photos of sunshine and shadows.
Remember that LITERACY and LEARNING are all about WORDS – Written, Spoken, Felt.
Each time you read and share a poem, your children are absorbing both words & life… in memorable moments.
If you like this poem, you may also enjoy Fog, by Carl Sandburg