poetry basket

I always started my children’s introduction to poetry through nursery rhymes and the very first thing we did was act them out when we could. Jack and Jill. Jack be Nimble. Poetry baskets is just an extension of that. Instead of acting the nursery rhyme or poem out in person, you use objects. This is a great way to incorporate poetry into unit studies and we used poetry baskets frequently when rowing through our Before Five in a Row and Five in a Row titles. I kept one poem with its corresponding basket of objects out for the duration of the themed unit.

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bear poemfrom our Bear unit (part 1 and 2 and 3)

My favorite site for finding poems that correspond to themes is CanTeach. I choose poems with lots of nouns. Our shoebox bin of plastic animals  is really useful, as are all the Montessori manipulatives I collected in our preschool years. Felt from the sewing box can be cut to represent lakes. The cave for the bear poem above was made out of an empty single-serving yogurt container and a piece of brown construction paper.  It doesn’t have to be fancy.

ladybug poemfrom our ladybug unit

As you read the poem to the child, the child brings out the corresponding objects. As the child learns to read, they bring out the objects as they read the word. Notice the black dots under each word in the ladybug poem? That is to help the child with tracking.

polar bear poemfrom our Arctic unit

Poetry baskets not only introduces poems in a tactile way, they are a fantastic pre-reading activity.

Have you used Poetry Baskets?
Let me know in the comments!

This is Day 1 of Five Days of Sharing Poetry with your Kids. Each day this week I will discuss easy ways to include poetry into your homeschool day or week.

{Read the intro if you haven’t already.}