Friday, September 14, 2012

It's Poetry Friday! Poems by Heart

Learning a Poem by Heart!

Former Children's Poet Laureate, Mary Ann Hoberman says,
Once you have learned a poem, it becomes yours. You own it! If you memorized it in childhood, it will be yours for a lifetime.

A couple of years ago, I featured the poetry of one poet each month throughout the school year.  During the month of January, my "Poetry Breaks!" highlighted Ms. Hoberman's poems.  Using the Poet of the Month approach, allowed us to learn about the poet, her books, and how she creates her poems.  Featuring a Poet of the Month is not only a reason for reading and reciting one poets work but also a very enlightening way to learn more about an author and how she creates her work.  

While watching one of Hoberman's video clips about her work as Children's Poet Laureate, I heard her recite this little rhyme . . . 
Every day take time to start to learn a little poem by heart.
This is a true "Poetry Break!" mantra if I ever heard one!

I love the idea of learning a poem by heart!  The words truly do become our own, not only do they often get "stuck in our heads," but they also do become etched onto our hearts and stay with us . . . forever!  Let's take a moment today and begin to learn a poem by heart!  

These are just a couple of my favorite Hoberman poetry collections  . . .

Fun poems that have lots of rhythm and rhyme! 

Love these poems for two voices!  They are great for reader's theater. 

I love this mini documentary from TeachingBooks.Net, where Ms. Hoberman discusses the wonder of words and the creation of some of her books.  Click here to watch it!

For more Mary Ann Hoberman resources, check out my wiki Pocketful of Poems. 

Today's Poetry Friday Round-Up is being hosted at Random Noodling.  Be sure to click on over for a visit!  

Works Cited:
Hoberman, Mary Ann. "Why Memorize Poetry." Guest Blogger: Poet Mary Ann Hoberman | The Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Sept. 2012.


  1. Uh-oh, you missed a week! I am hosting next week, the 21st. Today's roundup is at Random Noodling:

  2. Thanks so much! I had to leave for work this morning and figured the link at your site wasn't up yet! :) I will edit that now! First full week of school tends to make the brain a bit fuzzy! :) Thanks again and I'll see you NEXT week!

  3. I loved Hoberman since A House Is a House for Me first came out--talented lady!

  4. I love her books, too, and read 'you read to me, I'll read to you' to my little granddaughter already. She doesn't read yet, but the stories are just right. Thanks for sharing so much of Mary Ann's work.

  5. Hands down, the You Read To Me... books by Hoberman are the all-time favorites of Poetry Friday sharing in my classroom.

  6. Thank you for this post, Amy!!! My kids learn "Frog" and LOVE IT. It is a great teaching "tool" for content, language and form. And you barely need to "teach" it because the kids are so eager. My "teaching" from poems comes after they are familiar and comfortable with the poem. Learning poems by heart is NOT rote learning and it is wonderful if done in the classroom in a happy, supported, fun way. And it can lead to so much learning! There are some nice podcasts of Mary Ann H. on Poets. org or The Poetry Foundation. I have seen kids learn many poems of all kinds and lengths by heart without requirement, pressure, test or homework. Stephen Withrow at the PACYA blog reported last spring that the UK is now starting to require poetry memorization beginning at age 5. Would love to find out how they are accomplishing this and hope it is in the joyful way!!! Janet F.