Highlights for Children is a monthly magazine for children ages 3 to 12. Founded in 1946, and with a circulation of about 2 million, it publishes stories, poems, crafts and articles that entertain children while also encouraging learning. In addition to the paper magazine, Highlights for Children has a fabulous website called HighlightsKids.com. Since we are midway through National Poetry Month, I thought it would be fun (and enlightening) to share with you a feature I recently discovered on the HighlightsKids website called Poetry Player.
With or without a subscription, Poetry Player offers readers of all ages the chance to hear poems previously published in Highlights for Children recited aloud to the accompaniment of music and a colorful illustration. To get to Poetry Player, click the Read It tab on the HighlightsKids.com homepage. This will open other tabs, including the Poetry Player.
I’ve chosen three poems from the Poetry Reader to share with you. Clicking the title will take you straight to HighlightsKids so you can enjoy the poem on their website. I’ve also included several follow up suggestions to enjoy the poems at home or in the class room. Thank you, Highlights for Children for this great resource! Enjoy all!
The Rescue by Laura Sassi (that’s me!)
After reading and listening to the poem, ask your child/class if they’ve ever seen squirrels’ nests. (They probably have. They look like bunched up balls of leaves nestled high in trees.) Ask if they’ve ever seen baby squirrels. Then take some time to “virtually” investigate a bit more about squirrels using this terrific article on squirrels from the Washington Post. As a follow up, go for a walk. Count the number of squirrels and/or nests you spot. Draw a picture and/or write a poem about your walk.
Read and listen to the poem. The children are described as dressed in their Sunday best. What does that mean? What else is described as dressed? Can plants get dressed? Identify this as an example of personification. Then have fun sharing what your favorite parts of spring are. For added fun, draw a picture of Spring dressed in its Sunday best.
After reading and listening to the poem, read it aloud together in two voices with your child or class. Then write your own Q and A poems modeled after BJ Lee’s lovely sea poem. Take turns reading them in two voices.