Music and poetry are also a natural way to develop literacy skills. Phonological awareness can be enhanced through alliteration and rhyme. Poems and songs can also integrate concepts about words, letters, and the written language into the classroom.
According to the National Institute for Literacy, "Poetry is especially suited to fluency practice because poems for children are often short and they contain rhythm, rhyme, and meaning, making practice easy, fun, and rewarding."
National Standards for English recommends reading a wide range of print and employing a wide range of writing strategies. Furthermore, poems and songs can be particularly effective in helping students participate as members of a literary community where learning and enjoyment go hand in hand.
Most of all, poems and songs nurture a love of language and literacy. With all the emphasis on standards and assessment, they can be like a breath of fresh air. They can add joy, imagination, creativity, and FUN to your classrooms!
"Learning to Read and Write: Developmentally Appropriate Practices." NAEYC.
"Put Reading First." National Institute for Literacy
"Correlations of Preschool Skills or Abilities with Decoding or Reading Comprehension Measures," National Early Literacy Panel, EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP, March, 2004.
National Standards for English