It’s true! We keep songs and poems that we learn when we are young in our hearts and minds all of our lives. Indeed, some of the first words we heard were lullabies and lap rhymes that our parents said to us as infants.
Music and poetry are also a natural and interesting way to develop literacy skills. Phonological awareness can be enhanced through the alliteration and rhyme. Concepts about words, letters, and the written language can also be integrated through poems and songs in 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 recommend reading a wide range of print and employing a wide range of writing strategies. Further, poems and songs can be particularly effective in helping students participate as a member of a literary community for learning and enjoyment.
Above 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!
Snap them, But above all, ENJOY them!
Here are eight great reasons for integrating poetry in your classroom:
1. Poetry develops oral language.
2. Poetry develops auditory memory.
3. Poetry helps children make print connections.
4. Poetry develops phonological awareness (rhyme, rhythm, alliteration).
5. Poetry enhances fluency.
6. Poetry develops vocabulary.
7. Poetry sparks children’s interest in reading.
8. Poetry helps children fall in love with language.
Myths about Poetry – It’s ALL GOOD!
It’s O.K. if you don’t understand a poem.
The mystery of a poem makes you want to visit it again and again.
What’s left unknown makes it more exciting to return.
It’s O.K. if a poem doesn’t rhyme.
It’s the music of the words and the rhythm that are important.
It’s O.K. if you don’t know the answer.
Leave it open-ended.
It’s O.K. if people have different opinions about poems.
Poems touch people’s emotions in different ways.
It’s O.K. to break down a poem and analyze it,
But you also want to read poems and “let it be.”
And it’s O.K. to like a poem just because it makes you feel good.
Although we teach in an educational system that is skill-
based, it is O.K. to include something in your curriculum
just because it brings you JOY!