February Poem of the Month: Valentine to America

I realize it’s a bit late in the game for 2016 to be posting a poem of the month for February.  It’s just that February is such a short month and so packed with holidays: Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, even Ash Wednesday and Leap Day this year… it was hard to squeeze the poem in before now.  At least you could use it next year if you’d like.  And the coolest thing about this poem is that it actually manages to combine 2 of the holidays: Valentine’s Day and President’s Day.

This is one of the few poems I use that actually rhymes.  I learned in college that children (and adults) are often intimidated by writing poetry because figuring out how to make it rhyme can be difficult, so I generally don’t have children write rhyming poetry.  However, Valentine’s Day just lends itself to simplistic rhyming poetry (roses are red, violets are blue… you get the idea).  In fact, to introduce this activity I usually have the children write a rhyming “Roses are Red” poem as a class.  Then I have them choose some words to describe America and list words that rhyme with those words.  Finally they put the words together into 4 line patriotic poems.  This is a poem written by one of my third graders years ago:

What did you say

About USA?

Hip hip hooray

Everyday!

Not very intimidating at all, and perfect for celebrating both Valentine’s Day and President’s Day.  Just have the kids copy their poems on red hearts and decorate them with red, white, and blue stickers and put them on display.

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