The Importance of Poetry In Schools
Poetry has a unique place in our curriculum.
It can be taught as part of reading, writing, and literacy lessons and it fits easily into classroom themes, projects, and celebrations.
Michael Rosen, poet and Children’s Laureate 2007-2009 said:
‘Teachers sometimes ask me, “What’s the best way to get children writing poems?” One of the first things I suggest is to create a poetry-friendly classroom. It’s about making a classroom a place where poems are welcome. It’s about pleasure, stimulation, feeling, curiosity, wonder and fun and children finding their own voice.’
Five Reasons You Should Be Teaching Poetry In Your Classroom
1. Speaking and Listening – poetry is a great way to build and develop the children’s speaking and listening skills.
When poems are shared in the classroom it is often a group or class activity that involves reading out loud.
It is an opportunity for you as the teacher to ask a variety of questions about the content of the poem, how it sounds, can they recognise any rhyming words and so on.
Here is a poem from our poet in residence, David Horner.
2. Literacy Skills – poetry is a wonderful tool that can use used to teach many literacy skills.
Poems can be used to teach phonics and letter sounds, sentence structure and grammar skills.
The teaching of poetry also helps build vocabulary as the children are exposed to new words.
This idea is all about tongue twisters.
3. Language Development – poetry encourages the children to play with language.
Poets craft sentences with imagination and precision.
They use sentence structure and grammar with precision and these are skills children can learn through listening to poetry and then writing their own.
This poem explores the Anglo-Saxon writing of kennings – in a fun way.
4. Inspiring Children To Write – through poetry, we can teach our children how to choose the right words to create particular images and effect.
By breaking poems down into their parts, children can learn a lot about how writing comes together.
Children learn how to follow a pattern and put words in a certain order.
Searching for these patterns in poems can be great fun and often inspire the children to want to try writing similar poems for themselves.
This video is taken from the National Poetry Day site.
5. Making Reading Manageable – most poems are manageable.
If you put to one side some of the longer narrative poems, most poetry is concise.
This makes it perfect for those children who are daunted by reading longer pieces of prose.
A Poet In Your Classroom
Here at Goodeyedeers, we have been creating resources for you to use in your classroom.
In these packages David Horner, our poet in residence here at Goodeyedeers, shares with you a typical session he did when he was working in schools across the country and abroad and shows you how to duplicate it in your classroom
Each resource contains:
- Three animated videos where David reads out three of his poems using a number of unusual characters to help him!
- Text of each of these poems for the children to have as they follow the readings.
- Suggestions, in the Teachers’ Notes, as to how you might follow this first session up.
- A PowerPoint containing a complete workshop lesson for you to do with the children to get them writing their own poetry.
- A set of notes to accompany each of the slides that talk you through the lesson.
We have four packages altogether:
- A Poet In Your Classroom – Year 3
- A Poet In Your Classroom – Year 4
- A Poet In Your Classroom – Year 5
- A Poet In Your Classroom – Year 6
Here is the trailer for the Year 4 package.
How are you going to use poetry in your classroom?
Mike and David – Goodeyedeers