Memorization in Motion

Sep 10, 2018 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team


Recently we published a blog post that described some of the many benefits of memorization. In that post we mentioned one of the programs we offer that helps build memorization muscle—Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization. This week we would like to share one of the delightful poems included in the program in the hopes that you will also share it with your students. Use it as an opportunity to strengthen your students’ memorization skills. Although it is four stanzas long, we think you will find it fun and fairly easy to learn.


                                        After the Party
                                        By William Wise
                                        Jonathan Blake
                                        Ate too much cake,
                                        He isn’t himself today;
                                        He’s tucked up in bed
                                        With a feverish head,
                                        And he doesn’t much care to play.
                                        Jonathan Blake
                                        Ate too much cake,
                                        And three kinds of ice cream too—
                                        From his latest reports
                                        He’s quite out of sorts,
                                        And I’m sure the reports are true.
                                        I’m sorry to state
                                        That he also ate,
                                        Six pickles, a pie, and a pear;
                                        In fact I confess
                                        It’s a reasonable guess
                                        He ate practically everything there.
                                        Yes, Jonathan Blake
                                        Ate too much cake,
                                        So he’s not at his best today;
                                        But there’s no need for sorrow—
                                        If you come back tomorrow,
                                        I’m sure he’ll be out to play.

When you introduce a new poem to your students, always start by reciting the title of the poem along with the poet’s name. Read the poem aloud with enjoyment and inflection. Even better, have your students listen to Andrew Pudewa’s wonderful recitation. Model for your students how delightful and funny this poem is! Once you finish reciting it in its entirety, practice memorizing the poem with your students daily, beginning with the first stanza. When that stanza is solid in your students’ minds, introduce the next stanza until all of the poem has been memorized. After that, continue the fun by memorizing another poem! But don’t forget to keep reciting the one you have just mastered, too! By keeping previously mastered poems fresh in your students’ minds, they will gradually build up a “playlist” of poems that they can draw upon.

Born in 1923, William Wise, popular with children as well as fun-loving adults, is an American author of fiction and nonfiction. He has authored rhyming picture books for the very young, whimsical poetry, and historical novels.

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