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Bringing Poetry to Life! · Friday April 4, 2008 by Christine

by Christine

This week with it being the Easter holidays all three children were at home and I had wanted to take them to Dove Cottage in Grasmere to find out about William Wordsworth.

Our first stop was a guided tour round the tiny cottage, a bit over the heads of my three but we did learn that Wordsworth’s dog was called Pepper, that Wordworth had a visitor called De Quincy (who smoked Opium)- which resulted in a discussion about ‘bad drugs and good drugs) and we saw a tinder box being used and heard how fires were often kept alight twenty four hours a day because they were so difficult to light. The guide also explained about window taxes and that people blocked up their windows to save taxes.

The museum was far more child friendly , with a simple questionnaire for the children to take round the museum and look for things in the glass cases.

I’ve found with museums that there’s often a website you can visit before going on excursions. They’re very useful for highlighting the educational ressources available. and for deciding on which subject you are going to focus . In this case there is a children’s activity room and the highlight of the trip was an hour painting daffodils and making Victoria pegdolls of William and Dorothy Wordsworth, whilst I read some of his simpler poems. The children had a lovely time and had something to take home afterwards.

The great thing about learning in this way is that you can just keep on building up your knowledge as the opportunity arises. The subject won’t just end because we have ‘run out of time’.

The decision to study Wordsworth came about quite coincidentally when I discovered that he’s written a series of sonnets about the Duddon valley, an area in which we often walk, and poetry comes alive when you can point out areas Wordsworth wrote about.

We shall visit Rydal Mount and Wordsworth House in Cockermouth too when we get the opportunity.

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