Day 21 of 31 Days of Poems for Kids: How to teach a Poem to Kids in less than 2 minutes

 How to teach a poem to kids in less than 2 minutes today…

Day 21 of 31 Days of Poems for Kids – LULLABY, Akan, Africa

Reading a poem to a child is like singing a little song. It’s talking to the universe. It’s taking a walk with a poet. It’s feeling words from the inside out. Every theme imaginable has been put to words in poetry… but poems about the  deep love a parent has for a child are especially lovely.

Today, take a walk with your children to Africa where we’ll visit the Akan people and feel a love that has no bounds…

LULLABY – Akan, Africa

Someone would like to have you for her child
But you are mine.
Someone would like to rear you on a costly mat
But you are mine.
Someone would like to place you on a camel blanket
But you are mine.
I have to rear you on a torn old mat.
Someone would like to have you as her child
But you are mine.

Read the poem with your children.

Talk about the speaker of the poem. Is the speaker a man or a woman? (The word her in the first line is a good tip that another woman is admiring the child, and the speaker of the poem is a mother.)

Is this mother/speaker wealthy? Is the other woman wealthy? How do we know?

What does it mean to “rear” a child? Does the speaker/mother know that this other woman could buy the child nice things and take the child to nice places?

What does the speaker/mother say to let the child know that no-one and nothing could take her child from her? (But you are mine.) 4 very simple words that make 1 very simple phrase… that means everything in the world.

The speaker/mother knows she cannot give her child riches (costly mats and camel blankets) and she knows that she cannot take her child to exotic places, but HER LOVE IS GREATER THAN ALL THAT. The speaker/mother may not have more than a torn old mat, but her heart is filled with the richness of love.

This little Akan poem takes us all the way across the world to let us know that mothers everywhere think the same way. LULLABY expresses this love in a way we can feel.

Have you ever said to your children something like it doesn’t matter what so-and-so has… we have each other and that’s way more special. BUT YOU ARE MINE. It doesn’t get any more clear or better than this!

When literature and life connect, LITERACY and MAGIC happen. It’s all about the words: Written, Spoken & Felt.

If you enjoyed this poem, you may also enjoy:
Fog, by Carl Sandburg
from Five Haiku, by Paul Eluard
Love is, by Nikki Giovanni
Temple Bell, by Yosa Buson
The Snail, by Richard Wright
Evening, by Sappho
The Red Wheelbarrow, by William Carlos William
The White Horse, by D. H. Lawrenc
Dragonfly Catcher, by Chiyojo
The Giraffe, by Ron Padgett
German Shepherd, by Myra Cohn Livingston
Outwitted, by Edwin Markham
My Father, by Yehuda Amichai
Window, by Czeslaw Milosz
I Cry, by Tupac Shakur
I, Too, Sing America, by Langston Hughes
Brotherhood, by Octavio Paz

About Audrey

Audrey McClelland has been a digital influencer since 2005. She’s a mom of 5 and shares tips on her three favorite things: parenting, fashion and beauty. She’s also a Contemporary Romance Author.

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  1. 2.4.13

    So beautiful and true. Mine, mine, mine… that’s how I think of my baby girl.

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