Poetry for children is a great reading alternative

Poetry for children is one of the most rewarding experiences educators show. Besides the literacy aspect of poems, it also shows rhyming, metaphors, and boosts their imaginations.

Not only is it fun to learn another language by reading different types of literature, but also it is interesting to see how other authors interpret the world around us.

Poems can turn into songs and they turn into poems. But the beauty of it all is that in a short or long poem, you appreciate the rhyming in Spanish. Children enjoy using various Spanish words to interpret the content.

But what are some great sources in poetry for children to start this literary endeavor?

In “Animal Poems of the Iguazú, Animalario del Iguazú” by Francisco X. Alarcón, you read about the many wonderful creatures that live at the rainforest of the Iguazú in South America in prose form. Alarcón makes a wonderful reference to this wonder of nature for children to know about with metaphors, rhyming, and alliteration.

What are the Iguazu Falls in poetry for children?

The Iguazu Falls (Cataratas del Iguazú) are located between the borders of Brazil and Argentina. These immense waterfalls are about 80 meters high (approx. 269 ft.), 2.7 kilometers wide (1.7 miles), and there are 275 drops. The name Iguazú is derived from the primitive language guaraní: ‘agua y grande’, which the literal translation means big water.

In this vast area of now protected rainforest, you find many different species from monkeys to panthers to exotic birds. Alarcón makes a wonderful mention to the Iguazu’s beauty in his books and poems.

poetry for children Iguazu Falls

Here are examples from his works that describes the earth at the Iguazu Falls:

“Tierra colorada”

“Tierra, tienes
tanto hierro
… suelo

… color
es … colorado
oxidado

como el ají
y el pimiento…
…la canela y el chocolate…”

poetry for children

“Red Earth”
“Earth, you have
so much iron
… soil

… color
is … rusty
red

… ground
dried chiles
and peppers…

…cinnamon and chocolate powder”

The author makes a wonderful description and compares the earth (tierra) on Iguazu Falls as red as peppers and chiles and magnifies our senses that red implies hot (caliente). It also implies that the texture (textura) of the earth is like cinnamon or chocolate, powdery and gritty. In a beautiful way, the poem wants you to use all of your senses to explore the beauty of the Iguazu Falls.

Poetry for children is a great way to introduce other genres of literature. Reading can be fun with books. But it can also be more engaging when educators show poetry as an alternative to books.

Have you tried poetry for children, recently? Did you like it or not?

Barbara Mascareno

Barbara is an educational writer, teacher, and instructional designer. She loves to write K-12 education content, teaching strategies, bilingual education approaches, and foreign language.

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