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Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.

Poetry and Play for Summer Learning Fun

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Girl on a swingCombining poetry and play is a great way to strengthen language and literacy skills in a melodic and lyrical way.

One of my favorite poems is Robert Louis Stevenson's classic "The Swing."

When my own children were young, we would say it together as I pushed them on a swing. Now, I teach my First Grade students the poem as well. Young children love this poem, and easily remember it on their own, especially when riding a swing!

The Swing by Robert Louis Stevenson

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it's the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall
Till I can see so wide.
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

So, when you are pushing your child on a swing this summer, say the poem together. You will be reinforcing great rhyming and language skills, while building loving memories with your child.


#1 carol williams 2011-07-07 10:43
And children everywhere dearly love to swing!

Besides nursery rhymes introduced to me at home, this was the first poem I learned in grade school, and it stays with me still, many decades later.
A blissfully beautiful introduction to literature and memory work.

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Do you allow your children to watch TV or play on the computer before doing their homework?