Ways & How

how to teach poetry to children

how to teach poetry to children

Children love poetry. That is because the musical quality of poems make them pleasing to young listeners’ ears and, in fact, helps them remember and understand poems. But while teachers know this fact, not many of them teach poetry or know how, especially when it comes to teaching it to children.  If ever they do teach it, they usually just give it as a text to read or memorize.  How to teach poetry to children has been the problem of some teachers and even parents attempting to introduce poetry to kids. Choose poems that are interesting to children. Begin with simple and short poems. Poems that talk about things and experiences that children can easily relate with are the best poems to teach your young ones. The aim is to introduce them to more poems and build their appreciation for them. If they don’t enjoy the experience at the start, they are not likely to read more poems. Prepare a lesson to teach one or two poems. Make sure that the poems are age appropriate and tailored to their interests. You might want to consider doing the following activities:

  1. Start with a warmer that will draw attention to the lesson.

    rong> It might help if you choose a hook that will help prepare the kids to appreciate and comprehend the poem to be taught. Choose a hooking activity that will introduce the poem’s theme or topic.  If necessary, you may also include a vocabulary activity. Make sure to make it fun for the kids. Also, don’t overwhelm kids with too many unfamiliar words.

  2. Remember that poems are best appreciated when they are read aloud. Let the kids read them. You might want to read it first and let the class read it later. The musicality of the poem must be enjoyed and experienced by the children. Let the children listen to the natural rhythm and rhyme of the poem.

  3. There is another technique to introducing a poem in class.  You can ask students to listen to you and repeat after you, but they must repeat it first in their minds before saying it aloud. So you say the first line and then the children say the same line in their minds and later articulate it. This technique is said to enhance retention.

  4. For teaching children, do not feel obligated to teach the elements of poetry. Let the poem speak for itself. Talk about the content. Ask students questions to check for comprehension and assess their feelings evoked by the poem.

  5. Encourage creative activities that help young learners express their thoughts and feelings about the poem. Your concern is not the accuracy of their interpretation but their ability to connect with the poem by relating it to their personal experiences.

    Remember that learning poems can be a meaningful experience for them. Be careful to introduce them to poems that are values-laden. Choose poems that inspire children to become better individuals. Asking them to memorize and deliver these poems can help shape their own values in life and even boost their confidence.

Encourage children to write their own poems. If you have kids who have been writing their own poems, encourage them to share them in class. Teaching poetry to children need not be complicated or too structured. Allow the learners’ enthusiasm to direct the flow of the lesson. Allow flexibility but make sure the children are learning and enjoying the poem.


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