curtis library logo
home | my account

Kids and Poetry

Posted by Pam Jenkins on April 22nd, 2016

poetryMy earliest childhood memories of poetry begin with a kindergarten production focused on nursery rhymes. I held a candle and wore a flannel nightgown and nightcap while singing “Wee Willie Winkie,” then made a quick costume change backstage and returned for an over-the-top performance of “Little Miss Muffat.”  I recall feeling proud that I had memorized my lines, and those of my classmates as well.

I had many other experiences throughout the years where memorizing and reciting poetry were required. While some of it seemed tedious at the time, I still enjoy and remember a good deal of it 40-plus years later – from Edward Lear’s whimsical “The Owl and the Pussycat” to John McCrae‘s somber “In Flanders Fields” and more.

Besides instilling a sense of pride and accomplishment in reciting poetry, and the simple enjoyment of the words, why share poetry with children?

Professor Sylvia M. Vardell, author of Poetry Aloud Here!, lists several reasons: “It introduces new vocabulary and figurative language. It reinforces word sounds, rhymes, and patterns. It provides examples of synonyms, antonyms, puns, wordplay, and coining of new words and expressions. It is rich in imagery, in seeing familiar things in new ways, and in sensory language, and it stimulates the imagination…

It is an important part of our literary and cultural heritage. Remember Beowulf? The Psalms? “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”? “Hold Fast to Dreams?” It is meant to be heard and thus provides practice for oral language development, listening, oral fluency, and choral reading and performing.

As children are growing in their knowledge of language and literature, poetry is just right for their developing minds and hearts. Poetry is primal: it speaks to a basic human need for expression …”

Vardell’s book includes this wonderful quote from poet Douglas Florian: “Reading poetry aloud connects us and collects us, heals us and reveals us, unites us and delights us in the wonder of words and all they can convey.”

Share some poetry with the young people in your life. Happy National Poetry Month!

Dinosaurs at Dusk, Laser Mania, and The Little Star That Could

Posted by Pam Jenkins on April 4th, 2016

starsWhat do the phrases above have in common? They’re all exciting family shows being presented at Southworth Planetarium this month!

The good news for Curtis Library cardholders is that the planetarium is one of 11 venues that offers passes to us for free or discounted admission.  A Southworth Planetarium pass provides a family (up to 6 members) with FREE admission to one show.

How do you reserve a pass? Just stop by or call the Lending Services Desk – 725-5242, menu option 4 – to see if a pass is available on your preferred day. Then pick up the pass at Curtis and you’re all set for an interesting and fun family experience!

For planetarium show descriptions and hours, visit the Southworth Planetarium website. Check here for a complete list of available museum passes.

It’s Time to Vote!

Posted by Pam Jenkins on March 16th, 2016

IMG_0611Attention 4th through 8th graders! Don’t forget to vote for your favorite Maine Student Book Award nominee by the end of the month. The ballot box is located in the kids’ area at one end of the last row of fiction.

The MSBA is designed to “expand literary horizons of students in grades 4-8 by encouraging them to read, evaluate, and enjoy a selection of new books and to choose a statewide favorite each spring.”

For an annotated list of the nominees, visit the Maine Student Book Award site, sponsored by the Maine Library Association, the Maine Association of School Libraries, and the Maine Literacy Council.

kids calendar programs and serivces Marvel for Kids Family Resources Handbook Book Lists and Links Contact Youth Services staff Curtis Kids Homepage
Jack Prelutsky curtis collaboratory great websites for kids