We all grew up with poetry around us. Rhymes surround us, or, in some cases, bombard us. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall …, Itsy, bitsy spider …, One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish… It might not seem obvious but we hear poetry everyday through music. Poetry is a great way to engage students in many different learning experiences in the classroom. Introducing young children to poetry exposes them to the sounds and rhythms of language, interest in words and learning to read. Some people might wonder what exactly poetry teaches students in school, so in that case, I have a list of different examples to share with you.
1. Vocabulary Building
An obvious way to use poetry in the classroom is to build student’s vocabulary. Because of poetry’s conciseness, students can learn how to search for and choose the best word for a situation. Exercises can encourage students to use synonyms and antonyms.
Reading poetry is another way for students to appreciate English. As with all reading, students do not need to understand every word to enjoy a poem. Some poetry can be read only for the sounds the words make.
Listening is the way most students first learn to appreciate poetry. Listening to a poem can be a prompt for discussion or writing. Through listening, students become familiar with the rhythm and sounds of English.
Another way for students to use poetry is to compose it. Through writing, students use grammar, vocabulary, and a host of other skills they need to improve their English.
5. Group and pair work
In addition to the earlier listed benefits students get from using group work, students can build a sense of community while writing poems with classmates.
6. Learning about other cultures
Poetry can tell much about the culture that it comes from. There is more to culture than television and movies; poetry often says as much about the country that it came from as it does about the author.
Poetry is fun. The nonsense rhymes of Lewis Carroll or Dr. Seuss put smiles on the faces of listeners of many ages. Poetry is frequently use to get children excited about books and reading.
Here is a website through PBS parents that explains the benefits of poetry!