Poet Study: Robert Frost
I read poetry to my children regularly. Sometimes I share poems from anthologies and sometimes poems related to the season, holiday, or our studies in nature or history. Other times we focus on one poet, and March is a great month to enjoy a study of Robert Frost, who was born on March 26th, 1874.
Other than the fact that it’s his birthday, and that he’s one of America’s best-loved poets, what homeschooler doesn’t identify with these famous lines:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~from “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost
Getting to Know Robert Frost
Born and raised in Maine, I feel a special connection to his poems depicting scenes of rural New England life. I was amused to find that he was actually born in California! He moved to New England (where his family was from) when he was 11.
Although he was writing poems as a young adult he was not able to support himself as a poet until much later in his life. In the meantime he wrote for newspapers, taught, and farmed (though not very successfully). It wasn’t until he moved to England in his late 30s that his work was accepted by a publisher in Britain. He moved back to America, and ten years after his first book of poetry was published he won the first of four Pulitzer prizes.
Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost has a short biography of the poet. This biography online also has nice information about not just his poetry but also his personal life. I find his life story interesting and worth sharing with my children: there is a lesson to be learned about following your passion even if you aren’t immediately successful.
Getting To Know Robert Frost’s Poems
I can’t recommend the Poetry for Young People series highly enough. With the story of the poet at the beginning, and then a selection of poems with accompanying artwork, it is worth adding to your bookshelf. I also appreciate the notes at the bottom of the page that help explain the theme or style of the poem.
Several of his poems have been made into picture books–a perfect way to introduce his poetry to younger children and enjoyed by all ages in our home:
Here are some free resources for enjoying his poetry:
- There are links to many of his poems on the right sidebar at The Academy of American Poets website.
- Librivox has a free audio download of eight poems.
- You can also watch a video of Frost reading “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.”
Adding the Extras
Reading about the poet and sharing his poems can stand alone, but you can further the learning (or just the fun) by adding in any of these enrichment ideas.
- Jimmie has perfect Robert Frost Notebooking Pages over at the Notebooking Fairy.
- Use one of his poems for copywork.
- Have your child memorize their favorite Frost poem.
- Print a poem and have your child illustrate it.
- The chalk pastel tutorials Tricia posts at Hodgepodge are one of my favorite art resources! Several would go well with the scenes of nature in many Robert Frost poems: To The Woods, Tree Silhouette, Apple, Old Shed in the Snow.
- According to the Robert Frost Farm website, the Frost family served banana pudding topped with chocolate syrup and whipped cream at birthday parties. I’m always game to add food to our studies!
Hop on over and check out other unit studies of fascinating people born in March from the bloggers of iHomeschool Network!