World Poetry Day is an opportunity to introduce children to the world of faith inspired poetry and to help them to find their own talent for expression in the creative use of language.
Since 1999, the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has formally recognised the importance of poetry in culture and civilisation with a day given to celebrating the crative use of language.
Inspiring children to a love of language
World Poetry Day helps to raise the profile of writers, readers and the tradition of oral recital. With an emphasis on new poetry talent, World Poetry Day strengthens the links between poetry, dance, music and painting as well as new digital media creativity.
Children especially are encouraged to find their own poetic voices as poetry gets back to its origins in the hearts and minds of ordinary people. More than ever before, the opportunity opens up for young Christians to express the spiritual heart of their faith in the creative use of language.
Lively words for lively young minds
Modern Christian poets connect with children taking the world as children see, hear and feel it and making sense of it in words they love and understand. In poetry, complex spiritual truths that can’t be easily explained are made alive and memorable to a child’s eager mind.
For a child, poetry is that combination of words and emotion that connects their experience with understanding and ultimately to their own expression of who they are. If you haven’t introduced your children to the moving and uplifting world of modern children’s Christian poetry, here’s a few suggestions to get you started.
Christian poetry that children love
For Christian poetry that children will definitely want to read, you won’t do much better than typing Steve Turner’s name into the Eden.co.uk search window. His highly original and enjoyable books include wacky titles that grab the attention of children.
Another great Christian poet for children this World Poetry Day is Liverpool writer for adults and for children, Strewart Henderson. A popular performer at Christian festivals such as Greenbelt, his titles are favourites for introducing children to poetry.
Steve Turner: enjoyable language
‘The Day I Fell down the Toilet’: - all about best friends and animals, schooldays and secret ambitions, boring days and embarrassing moments. Also included are more serious subjects such as creation, death and pollution.
‘Don’t Take your Elephant to School’: - in this collection - Using the alphabet as a framework, this highly entertaining book will delight all Turner fans and teachers will appreciate the varied poetry forms from limerick and nonsense to free verse.
Stewart Henderson: performance poet
‘Poetry Emotion’: - a creative collection designed to cover many aspects of social and emotional learning. Suitable for assemblies and to promote imaginative thinking and writing in the home and classroom.
‘All Things Weird and Wonderful’: - quirky, thought-provoking and highly entertaining look at creation from the perspective of a child. Answering curious questions and helping children understand more about their place in God’s universe.
Christian poetry for grown-ups too
‘Spoken worship’: - by Gerard Kelly. Words to illuminate the human experience in the place where it matters most: connection to our Creator. Poetry for gatherings large and small; for great halls, home groups, in the shower and on the way to work.
'Family Christian Poetry': - by Mirella Evangelista. An inspiring range of topics from family to spirituality. Written in simple language for every person, denomination and occasion that promise to leave a meaningful and lasting feeling of love.
Take advantage of World Poetry Day to grow your child’s poetry voice. Give the gift of modern Christian poetry and inspire children in your care to communicate Christ to the world through the power of creative language.
March 21st, 2012 - Posted & Written by Les Ellison