The trees throwing off their summer green and bursting into orange, yellow, and red, the crunch of dry leaves under your feet, the thick smoky smell of a fire burning out the chill of a fall morning. All memories of my Vermont childhood and signs of fall and the change of seasons.
It’s not even close to feeling like fall here in south Texas, but something always happens to me this time of year. Maybe it’s the New England blood in me, like a knee that aches when rain’s coming. But I start to crave those chills in the air, remembering the sensations of decades of falls before. Don’t get me wrong I love my palm trees and sand and will definitely prefer it this winter when New England is packed in snow, but still… Fall has a homey feel for me.
And, I can’t think about New England without thinking of it’s seasons. And, I can’t think about Robert Frost without getting those seasonal New England pictures in my mind.
That’s why, I love to teach Robert Frost at the turn of a season.
Living in New England, he wrote many poems relating to specific seasons.
And, many specifically relating to autumn.
Poetry for Young People
The book Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost pictured above is one of the resources we’re reading from this fall. It is part of a series of books about famous poets that includes selections for young readers. We have several books on different poets in this book series.
This book is fantastic for finding seasonal poems by Robert Frost. It is broken up by season with a title page for each one and then several poems, each with an illustration.
After the poem’s title, the book includes a short explanation of the poem and at the bottom of the page you can find vocabulary and definitions for words that may be new to children.
Fall Poems by Robert Frost
Here is a list of poems by Frost to share with your children this fall.
Each one is a link, so you can click through to read it with your kiddos. The Road Not Taken is an audio version read by Robert Frost. I love these, they are such an authentic source for teaching poetry.
FREE Printable Frost Poems & Discussion Questions
I made free printable versions of The Last Word of a Bluebird and The Road Not Taken. You can download them and a page of discussion questions for each poem by subscribing through the button below and gaining access to our FREE Resource Library.
The Last Word of a Bluebird is great for younger kids and I actually used it to talk about seasons with my Kindergartener as the poem discusses birds heading south for the winter in the fall and their return in the spring. She loved the part about the north wind causing the bluebird to almost cough his tail feathers off. She’s been giggling about it ever since.
The Last Word of a Bluebird
As I went out a Crow
In a low voice said, “Oh,
I was looking for you.
How do you do?
I just came to tell you
To tell Lesley (will you?)
That her little Bluebird
Wanted me to bring word
That the north wind last night
That made the stars bright
And made ice on the trough
Almost made him cough
His tail feathers off.
He just had to fly!
But he sent her Good-by,
And said to be good,
And wear her red hood,
And look for the skunk tracks
In the snow with an ax-
And do everything!
And perhaps in the spring
He would come back and sing.”
The Road Not Taken, provides a deeper meaning and a great opportunity for talking about poetry with older children. My son and I really enjoyed discussing it together.
The Road Not Taken
*Hear this poem read by Robert Frost here.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Resources for Further Study on Robert Frost
Biography of Robert Frost from poets.org.
The Library of Congress has many resources on Robert Frost. This link is to the main page where you can look around at what they have. I have also linked below to a specific resource from the library.
Frost was the first poet asked to write a poem for a presidential inauguration. This link from the library of congress tells the story of Frost reciting poetry at the inauguration of John F. Kennedy in 1961.
Primary source documents:
Here is a link to the original version of Frost’s poem Dedication that he wrote for the inauguration.
Readable version of Dedication.
Here is a link where you can view the original written poem The Gift Outright that Frost actually ended up reciting at the inauguration.
Readable version of The Gift Outright.
This article, Robert Frost in the Petri Dish, by Karen Glenn is an interesting read. She writes about using Frost as a way to teach science.