What is Poetry Tea Time?
Poetry Tea Time is a term coined by the wonderful Julie Bogart from Brave Writer. She is brilliant, intelligent, and fun! Julie comes up with incredible ways to raise lifelong readers and passionate writers.
Poetry Tea Time is quite simply a time to gather with tea (or any drink of your choice) and read aloud poetry. This is meant to foster bonding and inspire critical thinking. Delighting in the finer things in life that are often overlooked is a luxury we should all make time for. It calms us, it soothes our souls, and it draws us closer; to one another and to literature.
How Do I ‘Do’ Poetry Tea Time?
It’s simple! Set aside some time once a week (you don’t need to participate everyday), and gather at the table. It adds to the mood and really sets the scene if you lay out some nice table linens and fancy cups, get fun and creative with it! This is meant to be a special time that evokes emotion and a connection through literature. Set out some snacks or activities to keep little hands busy; oftentimes, the busier the hands, the more receptive the ears. Many children get bored if they are sitting with nothing to do. But if they have something to eat or work on, time will fall away and they will enjoy listening to the read aloud!
Creating A Theme
There certainly doesn’t need to be a theme, but I find it’s highly beneficial to have one! Everyone knows what to expect and thus looks forward to it. A theme offers a starting point, a beginning, to grow with. We enjoy our poetry tea time each Friday as part of our home education plan. Fridays are our enrichment days; the day we celebrate art, music, food, and poetry! Since we are currently working through a year-long world unit study, our enrichment days and poetry tea time are centered around our country of the week.
First, we put on cultural music from our country of the week and discuss the sounds we here. It’s so lovely to experience melodies in other languages and with foreign instruments.
Next, we replicate art inspired by the country or a famous artist from the region.
Then, we cook something delicious and authentic from the country together! It really encourages bonding and aids my children in developing culinary skills and a sophisticated palette.
Finally, when our food is ready, we sit down together at the table and read some poetry and books about or from the country! This has been such a rewarding and enriching experience! We really dive into each location we’re studying and celebrate the arts and culture from these places.
Take a look at a few examples of our world unit study enrichment days below. I hope it inspires you to try something similar!
We baked fresh Irish soda bread and read Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato (An Irish Folktale) by Tomie dePaola. We really explored the myths and legends in the Emerald Isle and even I learned so much about the ancient culture! I printed 2 copywork pages of poetry for my son and we read them aloud and discussed them. He was thrilled that one was about a fox!
This poetry tea time was truly a fiesta! We had made these lovely Mexican paper fans and baked Mexican wedding cake balls together. We read A Day’s Work by Eve Bunting and The Miracle Of The First Poinsetta by Joanne Oppenheim. Both of these titles painted a realistic perspective of life and traditions in Mexico.
Ecuador-The Galapagos Islands
Learning about these islands and this country was truly a nature study; so many unique animals and natural landscapes! We sautéed some shrimp to make authentic Ecuadorian shrimp ceviche and settled in with a poetry book called An Old Shell-Poems Of The Galapagos by Tony Johnston. The simple yet realistic nature illustrations in this title inspired my children to nature journal their own Galapagos animals and we even paper crafted a Blue-Footed Booby!
Poetry Tea Time can be simple or complex. It can be well-planned or off the cuff. The important thing is that you try it! You will love it and your kids will benefit greatly! We all need some quiet time now and again; to slow down from the hurried pace of life and obligations. These moments allow us to soak up knowledge and express ourselves while giving thanks to all things beautiful in our world.
Comment below and let me know if you have a poetry tea time routine in your home! I love to hear how others learn and grow together!