Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Summer Activity for Kids: Memorize Poems

posted by Nell Minow

“Whose woods these are, I think I know….”  You know how I know?  My mother told me that would be a good poem to memorize when I was eight.  I still know it by heart.

One of the best things you can do for your children this summer is encourage them to memorize poetry.   Children’s minds are naturally open to memorization as any parent of a kid who loves dinosaurs or who can repeat verbatim some promise you made months ago knows only too well.  These days, many kids (and their parents) are so used to having all the information they could ever want immediately accessible via Google have given up on the mental exercise of memorizing.  But it is an excellent way to challenge their imaginations and a great family project.  Jean Kerr’s classic essay about her efforts to get her children to memorize poems is one of my very favorites.  And Salon has a marvelous piece by Laura Miller on a proposal by Britain’s education secretary Michael Gove to go back to some of the classic school assignments like memorizing poems.

“People associate it with fusty, old-fashioned teaching styles,” [homeschooler Leslie] Kauffman told me. “Memorizing anything is associated with rote learning, the mindless parroting of information under an authoritarian teaching style.” Perhaps that’s what Gove has in mind, but it doesn’t have to be that way. “If you want your child to appreciate beautiful writing,” she said, “then memorizing poetry is one way to do that. It’s not just exposing them to it, but actually getting them to take ownership of it.”

It stretches the brain, it expands the spirit, it connects the family, and for the rest of their lives, as they remember what they have learned, it gives your children something to do while waiting in line that is, unlike Angry Birds, soul-enriching.

Have you memorized a poem?  Which one?

YouTube Preview Image


Previous Posts

Is This the End of Television?
Last week both cable giant HBO and broadcast giant CBS made announcements that signal the end of television as we know it.  Both responded to the clear message of the market and said that they would make their content available in the form and via the delivery system consumers prefer -- the interne

posted 3:24:08pm Oct. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Dylan Baker on Directing for the First Time in the Fact-Based High School Football Movie "23 Blast"
Dylan Baker is probably best remembered for playing some of the most horrific villains imaginable ("The Good Wife," "Happiness").  But his extensive career has included wild comedies ("Planes, Trains, and Automobiles," "Anchorman 2"), historical drama (he was Robert McNamara in "13 Days"), and even

posted 8:00:11am Oct. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Best Movies About Writers
Flavorwire has put together a great list of the 50 best movies about writers. It's always tricky to make a writer interesting on film. On one hand, you have the advantage of a character who is likely to be witty and eloquent. Movies are written by writers, so they have some insight and appreciatio

posted 3:37:07pm Oct. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Great News About Now You See Me 2
You didn't think Arthur Tressler was going to let them get away with it, did you? I am very happy that one of the most entertaining films of 2013, Now You See Me is getting a sequel and the stars, including Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Michael Caine, and Woody Harrelson, are back, alo

posted 8:00:59am Oct. 21, 2014 | read full post »

In the Footsteps of St. Peter
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4c7qh9hMVY[/youtube] David Suchet (PBS' Hercule Poirot) is the host of In the Footsteps of St. Peter, out tomorrow on DVD.

posted 3:55:57pm Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.