To be honest, poetry has always been a weak link at our house. I’m embarrassed to admit it, because there are so many benefits to reading and writing poetry with kids:
Poetry helps kids understand the concepts of rhyme and rhythm, recognize spelling patterns, learn new vocabulary, and deepen comprehension by reading closely and learning to interpret figurative language. When reading poems aloud, it builds reading fluency skills, and it improves speaking and listening skills. Writing poetry gives us a way to express ourselves that is different and often more creative than the forms of writing kids learn and practice most often.
If you could also use a little help incorporating poetry into your literacy routine at home, try one of these 5 simple and fun ideas:
- Poetry Night: Dedicate one night a week (or month) to poetry. Combine it with a favorite food. (Pizza & Poetry?) Get everyone in the family to bring a poem to share. It could be one they’ve read, or one they’ve written.
- Poetry Scavenger Hunt: I’ve created a poetry scavenger hunt, which you can download for free here. Discover some new poems and dig for meaning with this fun activity.
- Shape Poems: For students who don’t love “regular” poetry writing, this artistic strategy may be a winner!
- Blackout Poetry: Another extra creative spin on poetry. This one is especially suited for older kids.
- Poetry as Art: When my boys were very little, I used one of our favorite poems, Wyken, Blynken and Nod, by Eugene Field, to create wall art for their room. I found an old Little Golden Book version, enlarged the pages and mounted them on painted wooden plaques. We often read the poem before bed because it was conveniently hanging in their bedroom. Pick your family favorite and work together to create a piece of wall art to treasure!