Virtual Kids Create: February is for odes!

Hello and welcome to Virtual Kids Create! This is a self-paced version of the monthly kids day we host at the Poetry Center and includes age-appropriate language arts workshops for children from infancy to ten-years-old, developed by our incredible facilitators. February's theme is odes: poems written in honor of events, people, or things. The activities include read- and sing-a-longs, and creative writing exercises for pre-school and elementary students. Feel free to use this as a guide to create your own at-home, structured Kids Create, or pick and choose activities you think the kids in your household might enjoy.

Infant to 3-year-old read-a-loud & sing-a-long:

In this video, Kids Create facilitator Kathy Sutton reads an ode to pizza, as well as poems from Graham Cracker Animals 1-2-3 by Nancy White Carlstrom:

Musician Gabrielle Pietrangelo leads a sing-and-read-a-long that includes "My Singing Bird," "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," and He's Got the Whole World in His Hands by Kadir Nelson:

4-6-year-old writing workshop: Ode or Haiku: Honoring Nature

Butterfly in flowers / photo by Sagar Kulkarni"Odes are poems written in honor of something," writes facilitator Sophie Daws, "Odes can be dedicated to anything. Some poets write odes to their socks—like Pablo Neruda! Some poets write odes to a piece of art that moved or inspired them. Many odes are written to a person that the poet loves. Today, we’re going to be writing odes to nature and the outdoors!"

Drawing on haiku as inspiration, this activity invites you to use your five senses and powers of observation to write odes to birds or butterflies, rocks or rose buds. You'll be asked to not just describe something in the natural world, but write about how it makes you feel, whether that's excited, calm, or nervous!

7-10-year-old writing workshop: Birthday Odes

Photo by Gift Habeshaw"Birthdays are a particularly special time for us, as people celebrate one another," facilitator Chalese "Chay the Poet" Potts writes, "Think of how special it is when you receive a gift or high praise on your special day. Today we will write an ode poem you can gift to your special person. Hard to choose someone? Select anyone and save the poem for their special day."

As part of your ode, you'll include funny and heartfelt memories of the person you're writing an ode to, as well as why you are thankful for their presence in your life.




Cover image by Kelly Sikkema, post photos by Sagar Kulkarni and Gift Habeshaw.