This year, we celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 30. It is part of National Poetry Month and encourages us all to share poems. The idea is that you carry the poem in your pocket and read it to the people you meet during the day. Read more about Poem in Your Pocket Day on Poets.org.
The annual event is a wonderful language learning opportunity. Here are ten reasons why language learners should participate by reading a poem in Spanish.
Poem in Your Pocket Day
- is an event kids can prepare for. They can practice reading the poem in the days leading up to April 30.
- creates a supportive atmosphere. Teachers and friends at school will be expecting to hear kids read poems.
- gives kids a real audience to read aloud to.
- provides lots of repetition as kids read the poem to different people. You can set a goal for kids to read their poem to a minimum number of people.
- lets kids explain what the poem is about if they read to someone who does not speak Spanish. Teaching and explaining reinforce learning.
- can be an opportunity to practice specific vocabulary or structures. You can look for short poems related to topics you are working with or write your own rhymes.
- can introduce kids to Spanish language poets. You can choose short excerpts from poems to share with children.
- introduces children to the rich tradition of reciting poetry publicly (called declamar) that exists in Spanish speaking cultures. Learn more about this tradition and see video examples of children reciting poems.
- raises awareness of different languages, literature and language learning.
- gives children the chance to hear teachers and parents read their favorite poems!
I wrote the four short rhymes below for young Spanish learners to share on Poem in Your Pocket Day. They all consist of a two-line conversation between an animal and the speaker. I wrote them to give kids practice with le dije and me dijo. The printable version has pictures to support the language.
Yo le dije al pez,
— Es divertido pescar.
Me contestó el pez,
—¡Yo prefiero nadar!
Yo le dije al conejo,
— ¡Que orejas largas y bonitas!
Me contestó el conejo,
— Pero oyes bien con tus orejitas.
El perro me dijo,
— Me gustaría pasear.
Yo le contesté al perro,
— Vamos juntos a caminar.
El pájaro me dijo,
— Tengo alas para volar.
Yo le contesté al pájaro,
— A mí me gusta caminar.