April is National Poetry Month. It's a great reminder that poetry in it's many forms is a wonderful way to get kids excited about words and word play all year round. Here are a few ways that poetry supports developing readers.
Background Knowledge ~ Lots of great vocabulary can be introduced through poetry. When you encounter a new word with your reader, take time to talk about it and explore words connected to it. What other words mean the same thing? What other words are related to it?
Comprehension ~ Some poetic forms, like haiku and sijo conclude with a bit of a twist. Ask your reader if that last line changed how they thought about the poem as a way to build comprehension.
Decoding ~ Rhythm, rhyme, alliteration, and other forms of word play help kids hear the letter sounds and syllables that make up words. This helps them develop decoding skills, which are the ability to use knowledge of letter-sound relationships to accurately read a word.
Fluency ~ Poetry is meant to be read aloud, which gives kids a chance to hear a grown up reader model fluency (the ability to read a text correctly, quickly, and with expression), as well as practice it themselves.
Reading Motivation ~ Kids who enjoy reading are much more likely to want to read and to be stronger readers. Ask your reader to pick out books of poetry or individual poems they want to share. Find poems on topics they love, whether it's dinosaurs, farts, or science.
Excited to start or continue your poetic journey? Here are a few recommendations.
- Best & Brightest Children's Poetry of 2020
- Joy and Resistance: Children's Poetry by Black Writers
- Must-Read Children's Poetry
Looking for poetry just for your reader? Try our Personalized Reading List service!