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Educational Helps | 3 Minutes

How to Incorporate Poetry Teatime into Your School Day.

How to Incorporate Poetry Teatime into Your School Day.

If you’re looking to add something new to your homeschool routine this year, consider PoetryTeatime. The idea has been gaining traction in homeschool settings over the past year or so, and for a good reason. Poetry has a reputation for being difficult to understand, teach and write. So introducing it in a more relaxed setting with treats and conversation has proven to be a more successful way. Poetry not only becomes less daunting, but I’ve read about parents who have seen Poetry Teatime instill a love of poetry in their children.

It can be as casual or fancy as you want. Set the table for tea, choose some favorite poetry and take turns reading and discussing it. Here's a short to-do list if you want help planning it. At VSA, we offered a Virtual Poetry Tea Time for our kindergarten and first grade students for the first time this year, and it was a lot of fun! Each month we chose a theme. We made decorations, snacks and shared poetry related to the theme. We’re excited to share some suggestions for a Mad Hatter Poetry Tea Time with you too!

So here’s how you do it.

  1. Choose a tea time. It can be once a month or once week but make it the same day and time. Put it on the calendar so that children have a chance to look forward to it.
  2. Choose poetry. Before the scheduled tea time, take a trip to the library to pick out some poetry books. Let each child choose their own to share.
  3. Choose tea and treats. My kids like drinking tea (with lots of milk and sugar, of course) but not all kids will. Chocolate milk and juice are perfectly acceptable. If you’re looking for a good scone recipe, we’ve got you covered. Or just lay a few store-bought cookies on a fancy plate.
  4. Set the table. My kids have their own tea cups and plates so they love setting their places at the table. It doesn’t have to be at the dining room table either. Sometimes we set up a tea party on our deck out back, in the grass or in the toy room. Make it different than normal snack time.
  5. Read your poetry. Each child can choose a poem to read and discuss. If he or she is too young to read, have them or choose the poem based on pictures and you can read it.
  6. Drink and discuss. Now it’s time for sipping tea and nibbling on treats. With older students, you can let the conversation happen naturally, while little ones might need more prompting.

To get you started, we’ve put together ideas for a fall-inspired tea party HERE. Click HERE for more inspiration for food, drink, decorations, and silly poetry to share at your tea. And don’t forget to check out this awesome performance of Lewis Carroll’s famous nonsense poem Jabberwocky!

Last April we did a Garden Poetry Tea Time with yummy treats like “ants on a log” or “worms and dirt.” If the weather is nice, you can have the tea party right in your own garden. And don’t forget to check out A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson. is a great resource for teaching poetry to kids if you want to make it more of a formal lesson.