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Poetry and Reading

Why Share Poetry With Young Children?

It’s important to help young children learn and love to read. Simple poems are excellent tools for literacy because they are fun word play.

  • The connection between pre-reading and reading skills and later success in school is clear. Academic success can prevent risky behaviors in older children (e.g., dropping out of school, substance abuse and crime).
  • There is a strong relationship between learning to read and preventing behavior problems.
  • Poetry builds a love of words. Sharing poetry opens communication—laughing together at funny poems or making a game of silly rhymes. Talking together now leaves the door open for older children to continue to communicate and share their feelings and concerns.

Tips for Sharing Poetry

  • Read poetry aloud slowly. Emphasize the sound of the words and the rhymes. These simple sounds and rhymes become the foundation for learning to read.
  • Poems for young children are short and fun—no one has to sit still for a long story.
  • Rhyming words are easy to remember. Children love to repeat rhyming sounds, even if they don’t understand the meaning of the words or if the sounds are nonsense.
  • There are many wonderful poems for children. The topics are familiar and interesting and the poems are often funny.

Family Activities: Poetry With the Family

Educator Activity: Rhythm and Rhyme

Quiz for Parents: Why Poetry


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Updated on 3/21/2012