Poetry is full of figurative language, open to interpretation,
and awash with unusual use of punctuation, word constructions,
and hidden meanings. Is it any wonder that students are sometimes
confused by it, particularly those who struggle with simpler
reading assignments? By focusing on childrens poetry
that is less complex, this module attempts to spark interest
in poetry and build student confidence in deciphering it.
The student tour introduces students in grades 3-6 to different
types of poetry and a few well-known poets and their work
in a fun and enjoyable wayvia the Internet!
Poetry, with its beautiful sound and imaginative nature,
is at the same time both intriguing and perplexing to students.
It is essential for young children to experience some poetry
while they are in elementary school so that they will become
comfortable with its format and interpretation. Students who
are not afforded such an opportunity can be frustrated by
this type of expression, not only in understanding published
poetry but also in writing their own work.
The student tour begins with an exploration of various forms
of poetry including limerick, cinquain, haiku, acrostic, and
others. After students have formed an understanding of the
common types of poetry, they will enjoy some original poems
by Internet childrens poets and verses from other well-known
poets. As they read, they will be asked to consider questions
about the poetry and poets such as What is the subject
of this poem?, What type of poem is this?, What
is the message of the poem?, How does accompanying
artwork enhance the presentation of a poem?, and How
does the poet feel about the subject of the poem?.
In order to make the tour as enjoyable as possible for students,
many of the poems selected incorporate humor. Also, a section
on nursery rhymes serves as an example of the simplest poems
and builds students confidence in their ability to read
and comprehend poetry.
To broaden the scope of this tour, teachers may choose to have
students write their own poetry and publish it in the classroom
or on the Internet. Suggestions for ways to expand the learning
experience into other subject areas are included in the Teacher's
From our early years when we recite "Ring Around the
Rosie," our adolescent years when we attempt to express
newfound feelings of love through poetry, and then to later
years when poems such as Robert Frosts "The Road
Not Taken" seems to speak directly to our heartspoetry
is a part of our lives. How else can so few words be joined
together with such incredible meaning? Poetry even serves
a role in music, and it has a well-established place in language
arts education. Time spent on poetry is doubly effective:
it improves our perception of language and our sense of understanding.
Poetry has the power to change our way of thinking, and it
is because of this complexity and importance that we must
begin to study it early in life.
When elementary students tackle simple rhymes and funny verses
initially, their fear of poetry subsides. They form an understanding
of its lighter side, making it much easier for them to grasp
the more complicated themes that are later presented. When
they have finished this tour, students will have met a few
of the best writers of childrens poetry through their
work. The experience is designed to help set a foundation
of interest in poetry that will last a lifetime.
- To introduce styles of poetry
- To read and study poems by famous poets
- To appreciate the beauty of poetry
- To interpret poetry
- To become comfortable with the poetic form
- To enjoy humorous poetry