Thursday, December 9, 2021

9th of the Month Homeschool Poetry Party! (Christmas Edition)

Hello Homeschool Families, and welcome to this month's Poetry Party! I'm so glad you're here.

The Homeschool Poetry Party happens here at Live Your Poem every 9th of the month (in honor of nonet poems!)

Shout-out to the Johnson family who left beautiful poems on our Homeschool Poetry Party padlet... poems about fishing and cooking and being a good person

What better time than a holiday to read—or write!—a poem? From Elephant Appreciation Day to Hot Dog Day, you can find some fun way to celebrate every day of the year. Here's a book full of fun poems for lots of holidays from different faith traditions and cultures—some silly, some serious—all wonderful! Check out The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations compiled by Sylvia Vardell & Janet Wong.

Here at Casa Latham, we celebrate Christmas, and there's one poetry book we turn to most often during this time of year:

 MANGER, edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins with illus. by Helen Cann. It includes poems from the animals' perspectives on the Nativity story...and there are some surprises—a llama! Fish! Spider!

The first time I read the book, I realized all the living creatures had poems, but what about the manger? What did it think/feel about what was happening that special night? And so I wrote this poem:

by Irene Latham

I am but simple timber,
stripped of bark
and fastened by nails,
softened by a fluff of hay.

But I can show you
the strength of a forest,
the hope of water
and the resurrection of light.

Each day your hands will grow.
May they fashion a world
where even the most unloveable
are loved.

Now I invite you to write a Christmas poem about the Nativity story, but from a particular point of view. 

Maybe it's a poem from one of the animals (or a favorite animal you imagine was at the Nativity scene), or maybe it's voiced by an inanimate object: what would the pitchfork say, or the myrrh? What would the barn say, or the sky? 

Your job is to be that animal or object when you are writing the poem. This is called a "persona" or "mask" poem.

To write this kind of poem, it helps to ask your animal/object some questions like the ones below. Be sure to write down your answers.

When you are that animal or object, what do you see, hear, taste, touch, smell? 

What's your "job" in the story? 

How can you help (or hurt) the scene? 

What's your secret?
What matters most to you about the scene? 

Once you have your answers on paper, read back through them. Share them with a family member. Which ones are the most vivid, surprising or interesting? Which answers make you or a reader smile or sigh? Put those bits in your poem right away! 

 If you'd like to share your poem with this community, please post to padlet here. I can't wait to read them!

And now, may I ask a big favor? If you enjoyed our celebration today, would you please share it with another homeschool family who might also benefit? Poetry is for EVERYONE! 

I've prepared a free foldable zine filled with forest critters sharing what peace means to them in short poems—perfect for sharing during the Christmas season. Get yours now!

Thanks so much for sharing the celebration today. Merry Christmas! See you next month... as we ring in 2022!


  1. Irene, I love this post! I'm signing up for the printable page--but I am not a homeschooler :)

  2. Irene, your homeschool poetry party post is so much fun and a great lesson! I love your manager poem and the rest of the post. I signed up for the small poems printable page, also but I'm also not a homeschooler. I'm just a person that loves your poetry.


Your thoughts?