I think parents and teachers are more afraid of poetry than kids are, and thus, by the time kids get to the age where they're able to read and write poetry on their own, they've often picked up on the adults' negativity. Adult negativity is all a result of the old-fashioned way of teaching poetry--memorize long, boring, narrative poems written by long dead Englishmen, or, analyze, analyze, analyze the themes, metaphors, etc. of the "Neoclassicists," "Romantics," etc. until the reading of a poem becomes an ordeal.
Those days are over! There are gazillions of poems written just for kids, and kids can now actually enjoy reading them! A great little 32-page book from our children's room is Guppies to Puppies: Reading, Writing, and Reciting Poems About Pets by Susan M. Freese [J 808.1 FRE].
The whole idea of this book is smart. Collect a group of poems written about one of kids' favorite things, pets, and you've already got a foot in the door. Use clear, simple language in explaining the concepts of poetry, encourage the kids to write, read aloud, talk about their reactions, and look (closely at their surroundings, look for more, etc.), and you will actively ENGAGE the kids in poetry! Can you tell I'm fond of this book?
Here's a page from the book to give you an idea of how it is set up.
To read the rest of the poem, though, you'll have to borrow (or buy) the book!
Head over to The Drift Record/Julie Larios for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.