10 Reasons Why Poetry Works for Beginning and Reluctant Readers

According to developmental milestones, children ages 3-4 can accurately repeat sentences with high predictability. A child at age 4-5 can identify words that do or do not rhyme in a small set of words. I begin teaching poetry to students from age six and up.

1. Poetry engages students in oral language and helps connect the oral and written language.
2. Children at the very beginning of this long process are “Learning to read by reading.” This is a foundational requirement of any reading program.
3. Poetry allows children to repeat rhymes accurately.
4. Meaning of the rhyme or poem is important, which opens discussion about what's happening in the text?
5. Students begin to identify rhyming words. Phonemic Awareness is set in a context. Children hear rhymes before they are asked to create new words.
6. I write poems which focus on student needs: either a particular sounds (short vowel sounds) or words (as in Two of most thingsThat word “of.”)
7. Students can illustrate poems in many ways. Thus, oral language is paramount. Through creating illustrations, meaning and discussion of the poem is central to learning.
8. Writing poems for children allows for a collaborative process. We write together, creating a shared experience. Poetry becomes empowering.
9. Poetry can be personalized! Including your child’s name helps them be a part of the learning.
10. Using poetry or rhymes follows the developmental learning sequence for children.

I create poetry which is short and repetitive. Illustrations, either by using pictures from the Internet or a creative flare enhances student comprehension. The illustrations help make meaningful connections between the words on the paper and pictures. Find out more about the poetry I write with my students here.