Turning your young Grandkids Into Poets

This post was written by Valerie on March 30, 2012
Posted Under: Grandma Quotes


This is my grandchildren’s back yard and for me I see beauty not only in their faces but in their garden. We play lots of games but our favorite is to sit on the bench and I ask them a question. I write down their responses. Some days they just want to tell stories.

My three year old grand-daughter and I played start a story game. I am sure this is  nothing new but we decide who goes first (I encourage them to start) with a couple of sentences and then she points to me. I say a sentence and point back and then the words flow non-sensically but like a river it finally hits the ocean and there is the story.

If you have some ideas on this I would love to hear about them and learn how you encourage your grand children to write. I learned this technique when my daughter was first in pre-school. Her poem written down by her teacher was, “the sky cried”.

The sky cried? Was she sad. No. So it is just about rain? Yes. She was three. So now here I am with her daughter and I asked her a question.

I wrote down her answer and the story flowed from there. It was not so poetic but actually was quite funny.

The new California State poet laureate is Juan Felipe Herrera. In an interview with the San Diego Union he goes back to third grade when he attended Logan Heights school in San Diego and his teacher encouraged him to sing. That moment changed him. Forever. He was quoted, “San Diego is a really deep part of me,” he said. “Good soil there for what I do.” Good soil. Garden.

The art of encouraging a child to tell their poem or story is not to judge it or change it. Let the words flow and write them down as spoken.

Let them know they can “sing”.  Share with them the power words have over others. Some words cut and hurt. Some words soothe and soar.

Fly above the garden, high over head and when you look down and see an old woman on a bench in your garden what would you say to her?

My grandson thinking.....

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