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

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

Day 31 of 31 Days of Poems for Kids:  WILD GOOSE, WILD GOOSE by Issa


Day 31. Over 31 days, I’ve offered 31 little poems to you that are appropriate to read with/to children, discuss with children and share with children.  I selected poets from around the world.  Each poem has a thought or theme, conveyed by its poet.  Each poem can be interpreted by its reader in a different way.  Each poem offered is meant to get children to think, to understand concepts, to develop language, to use words.  All of the poems, collectively, bring children right up close to literature and bring LITERACY into their lives.

Each poem, and the “talking” questions I’ve included, is a little 2-minute activity.  This 2-minute activity gets kids to see, read and discuss some of the world’s greatest poets, using their words as they come alive.  Revisit these poems often.  Revisit them in any order.  Print them and put them in a Poetry folder! I will guarantee that your kids will never forget them… or reading them with you.  It’s true that parents who take time to read with their children are giving their children gifts of language.  This gift is immeasurable.

Poems take us on lovely walks, lovely journeys, lovely adventures… all the while filling our heads with words and ideas and the very essence of life.  Poems stir our senses.  Poems spark our imaginations and our emotions.  Poetry makes every single word count.


Today’s little poem (and I do mean little!) was written by Issa, an 18th century Japanese poet regarded as one of the masters of haiku.  This is a poem that a very young child can memorize, master and create meaning from… and an older child can examine and make connections between nature and him or herself.


Wild goose, wild goose,
At what age
Did you make your first journey?

(I told you the poem was little!)

Now talk to your children about journeys… perhaps their first journeys.  Were the journeys to meet grandparents?  Or a family vacation?  Or a move from one home to another?  At what age were the children? Do you have photographs of this journey?

Talk about your first journey… the first one you remember.  At what age did you make this journey? Do you have photographs?

Talk about the first journey of the Wild Goose.  Where did the Wild Goose go?  With whom did the Wild Goose travel?  How old was the Wild Goose? The seemingly unrelated journey of the Wild Goose from Japan during the 18th century will come to have meaning in the lives of your children.

THIS IS LITERACY.  Images, sounds, senses, creativity, imagination… the music of words coming alive!  WORDS.  Even simple, simple words.

It’s all in the sharing.  It’s all in the remembering.  It’s all in the words… and the lovely walk you’ll take today!

Literacy begins with words…  Spoken, Written & Felt.

If you and your children enjoyed this poem, you may also enjoy Days 1 – 30:
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
Lullaby, Akan, African
Today, by Frank O’Hara
Cradle Song, by Sarojini Naidu
Full Moon, by Walter de la Mar
Grass, by Kim Su-yeong
I Sing for the Animals, by Teton Sioux Indians
Red Slippers, by Amy Lowell
The Arrow and the Song, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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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