appreciating and exploring poetry in lower primary classrooms

Appreciating and exploring poetry in lower primary classrooms – reblogged from readilearn

Poetry is a wonderful tool for learning language. When children listen to or recite poetry, they are learning the rhythms and sounds of language, exploring ideas and how to express them, expanding vocabularies, deepening understanding in nuances of meaning, and having fun with thoughts and their expression.

Children are exposed to rhythm and rhyme from their earliest days through nursery rhymes, chants and songs as well as the text of picture books. It is important for children to have opportunities for appreciating and exploring poetry into and throughout their school years. The Australian Curriculum places poetry firmly into the literature strand of English teaching each year. But it is not necessary to relegate poetry just to a poetry unit of work when stipulated by the curriculum. Poetry, rhymes, chants and songs can be easily incorporated into the daily class program.

Michael Rosen, who you may know as the author of Going on a Bear Hunt and who I previously introduced to you in this post, shares some recommendations for teaching poetry on his blog. Although the suggestions were written for a year one teacher, I think the suggestions could be extended out to other years. Following his recommendations would more than cover the expectations of the Australian Curriculum, and what a wonderful way to turn children (and yourself) onto poetry.

I’m only sharing a few of his recommendations here. Please visit his website to read the others.

Michael Rosen’s suggestions for teaching poetry

  • Get as many poetry books into your classroom as possible. Encourage the children in pairs to browse, choose and read.
  • Read poems to them every day, use vids of poets (check out Michael Rosen’s YouTube channel) , use national poetry archive. Writing poems with no poems in your head is too big an ask. Fill their heads with ‘What poetry can do’ ie loads of poems.

Continue reading: Appreciating and exploring poetry in lower primary classrooms – readilearn

37 thoughts on “Appreciating and exploring poetry in lower primary classrooms – reblogged from readilearn

  1. D. Wallace Peach

    Great post, Norah, and thanks for linking to Michael’s longer list. I feel fortunate that poetry is part of the curriculum in my grandson’s school, culminating in a “Poetry Slam” that is a hoot and so much fun for everyone. Perhaps he and I will write some poetry to incorporate on homemade Christmas gifts (hmm). Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Diana. A poetry slam for children would be fun, and how wonderful to write poetry together for Christmas gifts. Enjoy! Maybe the inspiration has come back to me too. 🙂

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  2. Jules

    When I had my Little people daily I would sing them lullabies at nap time. I was happy to see that Son of Son (now 8) pulled off one of my two Shel Silverstein poetry books last month. Just to read for the fun of it. 🙂

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  3. Erica/Erika

    I had not given poetry much thought until reading this post, Norah. I read to my Grandchildren often and they are often captivated by poetry and rhyming. They also seem to more easily remember the entire stories when the stories are in a rhyme. As some of the other comments indicate, the stories become classics. An interesting post.

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  4. Jennie

    Absolutely wonderful, Norah! Poetry is as important as rhyming and chanting and repeated verse. That’s what children need to hear. Michael Rosen is one of the greats. Going on a Bear Hunt is a classic and certainly a favorite.

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      1. Jennie

        I invented a game to make poetry exciting in the classroom, the Stop Game. I fan the pages of a poetry book till the children say “stop”, and then read that poem. While it may sound silly, it actually makes the children focus on the poem. And, it’s fun. You’re right, anything to develop language is great! Thank you, Norah.

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        1. Norah Post author

          That is a fun game, Jennie. I can just imagine the excitement of children calling ‘stop’ and then waiting expectantly to hear what poem they’d chosen. It would definitely encourage them to focus.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Rosemary, I’m sure you did far more poetry than you remember. Your Granddaughter is so lucky to have a Grandmother as passionate about literacy as you. Enjoy story time! 💖

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  5. petespringerauthor

    I volunteered at my old school today, Norah, and some of the kids were working on poetry. It was a hoot! I’m like that grandpa who comes in a couple of hours once in a while and then goes home without a care in the world not having to lesson plan.😎 Happy Friday!

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  6. thecontentedcrafter

    I never met a little child who didn’t love rhyming – words and rhythms….. I wonder when we ever grow out of it really 🙂 Children need that initial introduction via sound – and movement too – to really grow into a love for language. it’s all connected isn’t it Norah. (I’ve been away, I’m back again 🙂 )

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