Poetry helps with spelling. Students with a good awareness of rhyme and rhyming skills tend to become better readers and spellers. Focusing on rhyme helps them look at patterns within words and how they are formed, supporting word recognition and spelling.
Speech development improves. Playing with sounds and rhyming patterns in words supports the development of the mouth, pharynx, and nose, helping speech and language development. Poetry also paves the way for the articulation of phonemes as children start to understand phonics.
Reading becomes more fluent. The tunes and patterns of poems support children in developing reading fluency, meaning poetry is a powerful genre for engaging more reluctant readers, and for encouraging more confident readers to pay closer attention to the words, improving reading comprehension skills.
It allows children to develop their own opinions. A poem is not a puzzle to be solved: there is no right or wrong answer when children are talking about poems or sharing opinions about what they are listening to or reading, which can give them confidence in expressing their views to others in the class. The physical space between lines and stanzas also provides a pause for children to reflect and make their own interpretations.
It inspires creativity. Poems can help inspire children to become writers themselves. They often gain a sense of voice and think carefully about their subject matter, language, grammar, and style through writing poetry of their own. Writing poems encourages them to reflect on their experiences and describe them using their own voice. They can also experiment with different writing devices like alliteration and onomatopoeia, making their writing more dynamic and exciting.
It helps develop interpretation skills. Poetry extends children’s interpretive skills and ability to infer and deduce beyond the literal words. One of the strengths of poetry is its brevity: in a short piece of writing, children can think about the author’s intent, understanding why choices might have been made and the effects these have. This is certainly a high-level skill for a reader and a writer.
It encourages a wide vocabulary and varied grammar. Poetry plays with language, and poets make deliberate choices in the way they use words and punctuation for the ultimate effect on the reader. Reading poetry allows children to look at ways to compose ideas in a variety of ways and choose the language that would best convey meaning.
It helps children understand their emotions. Poetry supports the development of children’s emotional literacy. They can learn to manage and reflect on their emotions, feelings, and behavior by drawing on experiences they hear about in poems shared. When they write their own poetry, they can give form and significance to a particular event or feeling that was important to them and communicate it to the reader or to the listener.
It introduces different writers, subjects, and styles. By providing a selection of different poems by various writers for young students to explore, including videos of poets performing their work, children learn to respond to language and themes, poetic forms, and devices along with encouraging children to become writers of poetry themselves.
It transports them to new worlds. With the world connecting, changing, and developing at a very fast rate, and where local, national, and global events can have an impact on children’s lives, poetry can help students navigate and make sense of experiences, as well as provide some entertainment and escapism, through witty rhymes that make them giggle or mythical poems that transport them to a different space and time.
Throughout the month, the students will hear poets reading their own poetry (particularly young authors and poets), providing the awareness and connection that they can also write and read their own poems. A celebrating component will end the month when we invite families to our poetry party.