DISNEY INSPIRATION FOR NATIONAL POETRY MONTH

Beth L. (NDM#183) (20 Posts)

Beth was born and raised in upstate New York. She is a happily married teacher, now SAHM to her two young sons. As a child, she and her parents would go to Walt Disney World nearly every year, creating a love for all things Disney that flourished well into adulthood. Beth worked hard to convince her husband to spend their ten day honeymoon at Walt Disney World in 2001. In May 2009, Beth's dream of taking her two boys to see the magic came true. It was a three generation experience, including the original Disney dreamers, her parents. Now her entire family has been bitten by the Disney bug and eagerly anticipate their next adventure to Florida. Beth's love for all things Disney has helped to inspire her at home, in the classroom, and beyond. She always has a camera close by to catch magical memories for her blog, TheAngelForever.com


Do you and/or your children like to write poems? Have you ever used Disney characters, people, places, and things to let your inner poet shine?

If you haven’t, don’t worry about it. Now is the perfect time to join in for a little poetry fun. My plan is to introduce you to different styles of poems that you can use with your children. You can use them for fun, as part of a homeschool poetry lesson, while driving/flying to Disney World, or to try yourself as we head into National Poetry Month in April.

When I started teaching Language Arts, I liked to begin the year with poetry. It was a nice way to ease into the curriculum. Of course, there was a method to my madness. After several months off over the summer, kids are not going to sit right down and write an essay. Working around it and getting them to actively want to write and express their thoughts with a pen and paper is the key. Once we got the ball rolling, there would be plenty of time to work on essay writing, literature, reports, comprehension, and more.

The nice part about using poetry is you can mix in a lot of content. The kids had no clue that I was working on grammar, parts of speech, and watching to observe their spelling habits. With a few simple poems, I was able to see if they had a grasp of phonics or still used inventive spelling.

The other fact is that most children love poetry. The short or long, individually unique writing pieces have no real right or wrong way to be written. Of course, as a teacher you can give guide lines and teach kids about specific kinds of poetry. Poetry gave me a chance to get to know my kids and to let them learn more about me. As I have mentioned before, it is important for students to see the human side of a teacher who is with them each day for many hours a week.

To help get ready for open house, I would begin with an acrostic poem. Do remember these poems? Here’s a refresher using my online persona (The AngelForever):

T hinks outside of the box

H as two little boys

E njoys all things related to Disney

A lways planning her next Disney adventure

N ever forgets her first time on Space Mountain

G lad to be a part of The Disney Driven Life

E ager to explore the wonders of Disney

L oved her honeymoon at the Beach Club Resort

F orever a fan of Eeyore

O nly has eyes for TechyDad

R ecalls meeting Figment for the first time

E njoys seeing her DDL friends

V ery dedicated to education

E ager to get back to Disneyland one day soon

R emembers Le Cellier before ADRs were a must

My students would arrive to see an acrostic poem about me. In turn, they would create their own. Then they would edit and illustrate it to go along with their photos on the bulletin board outside of my smiling children and their creations.

The beauty of acrostic poems is that they can be as simple or complex as you want them to be. You can write about a person or character and reveal facts you researched. For example, you could use Walt Disney’s name and put facts about his life within each line. The possibilities are really endless if you keep an open mind and get creative.

Here is a fun fact about acrostic poems. Lewis Carroll included an acrostic poem in the final chapter of Through the Looking-Glass. In “A Boat, Beneath A Sunny Sky” he spells out the real Alice’s name. As you will see her name, Alice Pleasance Liddell is right there before our eyes.

A boat, beneath a sunny sky
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July -

Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear -

Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die:
Autumn frosts have slain July.

Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream -
Lingering in the golden gleam -
Life, what is it but a dream?

So what are you waiting for? Get a pen and paper, or sit down and type out an acrostic poem. Write it about your love for Disney, your favorite character/ride/show/movie or anything else that you can think of and please be sure to share. Stay tuned, more poetry lessons coming soon.

Contributed by: Beth Levine (NDM#183) Beth is the DDL Education Blogger. She is also the creator of The Angel Forever.