Poetry is either hit or miss when it comes to children and adults. Some people love it, some people hate it and most people don’t really have an opinion. Despite whether or not you love or hate poetry, teaching poetry to children is very important and can provide a variety of benefits for children in elementary school during their formative years.
Builds Reading, Speaking and Listening Skills
Poetry is different than other types of writing because poetry has rhythm and rhyme. Having children listen to the poem and then having them repeat the poem out loud helps them connect the dots between what they hear, what they see and what they say.
Expands Language and Vocabulary
Teaching phonics goes hand in hand with poetry due to their rhymes. Children can listen for and locate rhyming words. The way poems are structured can also be taught to help teach other basic grammar skills such as subject, predicate, and parts of speech. Also, many poems contain words that the children might not have heard before but they might be able to understand what they mean based on the context of the poem.
There are several different types of poems from acrostic to sonnets. Different types of poems can inspire kids to participate in writing while also showing them how to form sentences and put words in a coherent order. But it also allows them to participate in creative writing while providing a structure.
There are several famous children’s poets that have written poetry that is appropriate for children; Shel Silverstein, A.A. Milne, Robert Louis Stevenson and Dr. Seuss just to name a few. The more exposure children have at an early age to poetry the more likely they are to enjoy it in the future. They will also have better grammar and literacy skills.