World Poetry Day

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By Brenda Williams

This year World Poetry Day falls on 21st March. It’s a brilliant opportunity to improve your children’s literacy, whilst also increasing their curiosity about the world around them. Use these poems and activities to celebrate the day in your setting.

The introduction of a day to celebrate poetry was initiated by UNESCO in 1999 but it has since been accepted by many schools and nurseries as an opportunity to bring everyone together and celebrate differences from around the world.

Children of the World Today

World Poetry Day

The youngest of children soon learn to enjoy the music of words in the rhythm and rhyme of traditional nursery rhymes. From this, we can develop a real delight in the joy of action rhymes by offering children a means of expressing themselves in a structured but stimulating way in response to rhyming language.

This poem seeks to spread that happiness by linking its words and actions to other children in the world, inviting them to share the same excitement in physically responding to words.

'Children of the World' poem

  • Start by showing children pictures from books or magazines of children from around the world.
  • Explain that the poem is about inviting those children, wherever they are, to join in with the fun of responding to all the actions. Tell them that although we cannot see those children, we can imagine them.
  • Introduce each verse, encouraging children to follow you as you demonstrate the actions.
  • You may need to limit the number of verses to two or three each day, allowing the children to become familiar before moving onto the next group.
  • Once the children have experimented with all the actions, move to a large space to allow full freedom of movement for each one.
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