At my local community college, I teach a course called “Poetry in the Early Childhood Classroom.” Teachers of young children gather over poetry books, in real life or via Zoom, and we talk about how to best use poetry in a lively early literacy curriculum.
One of my students’ favorite books is this one, which I want to celebrate on this Poetry Friday. As they became more attuned to issues of diversity and racial justice in children’s literature and beyond, we had powerful conversations about the vibrant images of black and brown children accompanying the familiar nursery rhymes in THE NEIGHBORHOOD MOTHER GOOSE by Nina Crews. One of my students remarked, “I never realized all the nursery rhyme books that we own are so… white.”
Nursery rhymes are often a child’s first introduction to rhyme and poetry. This book is a treasure for all children and deserves a place in every early childhood classroom and on the bookshelves of young children.
Thanks to my friend Janice Scully at Salt City Verse for encouraging me to join in on Poetry Friday, a celebration of children’s poetry. Mary Lee Hahn is hosting the Roundup of Poetry Friday posts at A Year of Reading.
Welcome to Poetry Friday! It’s so fun. Right now, as I teach middle school library, it’s the only writing commitment I have been able to stick to. I would love to take the course you describe. Even though I teach older children, I see more and more how early childhood connects to later learning…and where there are gaps, we educators need to try to fill in or build bridges!
Yes, building bridges– I love that, Linda!
When I started out in intervention some years ago, nursery rhymes are what we used with kids. All that rich, imaginative language – which is so much musical fun to read aloud. Kids loved it – and they’d love The Neighborhood Mother Goose even more.
So true, Fran! There is so much content and vocabulary embedded in nursery rhymes. To see them accompanied by dynamic inclusive images is so refreshing!
Welcome to the Poetry Friday community, Mary. I’m going to check out THE NEIGHBORHOOD MOTHER GOOSE by Nina Crews. Another resource for my EAL students. 🙂
Thanks, Bridget! It’s such a wonderful book!
Welcome, Mary. I’m glad to read about this book & will look for it! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you so much, Linda!
Thank you for joining the Poetry Friday community, and for your focus on a more inclusive study of rhymes! SO important!
Mary, thank you so much! I’m excited to be part of this conversation.