Monday, April 3, 2017

Welcome to National Poetry Month - an info wrap

Unwrapping some quotes to make you...

Unwrapping why poetry is important to kids...

“If children know eight nursery rhymes by heart by the time they’re four years old, they’re usually among the best readers by the time they’re eight.”

Why do children love poems. Fox, Mem. (2001). Reading Magic, Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever. San Diego, CA: Harcourt.  (one of my favourite books)

"Poetry is essential for children because it is “the best words in the best order.” The rhythm and rhymes can help children develop a love of language—and a love of reading. Once kids begin flexing their writing muscles, poetry can spark their creativity and let their imaginations soar!"

Reading poetry like nursery rhymes to your kids can have benefits all on their own. Here are some great reasons why you should work poetry into your reading times together.

Language Skills

Poetry often uses devices such as meter and rhyme as an important part of the structure of the piece. This rhythm and rhyme helps the words stick in the minds of those who hear them. It can also be a great way to improve language skills and word association in children. As kids learn to rhyme, they will seek out new words and new uses for existing words. This allows them to greatly expand their linguistic building blocks.

Better Readers

Experts agree and studies show that if a child is able to memorize at least eight nursery rhymes or short poems by their fourth year, they will become the best readers in their class by the time they are eight years old. This is a stunning statistic that holds true — nursery rhymes help your child read better and learn to love reading!

Physical Coordination

Reciting nursery rhymes can actually improve your child’s physical development. It’s true; as children learn to recite passages of meter and rhyme, they become more aware of the phonics involved in creating these sounds, and they improve their overall tongue and mouth movements and breath control. Better yet, they learn these skills naturally without even trying or realizing they’re learning skills. Innate learning is often the best, most natural kind.  Also think of the recesses you spent skipping and reciting little verses and rhymes to the rhythm of the swishing rope.  Here you have cardio and poetry in motion making your mind and your body more fit.  And of course dancing to your favourite music.  The lyrics are poetry set to music.  It is mind-boggling how you can remember words from old songs word for word isn't it?  Memorization is a huge plus for avid poetry readers and lovers of rhythmic words. 

Cognitive Skills

Reading poetry and rhymes allows children to learn how similar-sounding words can have very different meanings. They are better able to see the patterns in speech and literature and apply these patterns in their own clever turns-of-phrase. Learning how these patterns can be used and fit together allows them to improve their cognitive learning skills and teaches them to analyze the meanings of words through context. They become better at visualizing concepts through the words that they hear.

Emotional and Social Development

Poems and the rhythms they use help kids to build a sense of humor and whimsy. They learn to create inside jokes and form clever uses of wordplay. These are important coping mechanisms that are vital to a child’s social development. In addition, rhymes can become a source of comfort for children in stressful times. They can, when feeling down or anxious, call to mind a favorite rhyme to which they can cling as an anchor for good feelings.
There are many reasons why reading poetry and cleverly-worded works of literature can benefit your child.

I hope you take some time with your little ones this month and enjoy some great poetry together.   I will be helping you out as I suggest to you delightful rhyming books and the best children's poet's work for you to explore and enjoy.  I will be weaving this poetry component throughout my book reviews to help you further enrich your child's reading skills and their reading experiences.  Come along with me as I unwrap fun wordplays and in the words of Morag Styles, Professor of Children's Poetry at University of Cambridge:

"The best poetry says something that lasts.  It leaves a footprint deep in the earth of what it means to be human." 

Wrapping up: ... Poetry is ...

* Poetry is truth in its Sunday clothes. Joseph Roux

* Poetry can be dangerous, especially beautiful poetry, because it gives the illusion of having had the experience without actually going through it. Rumi

* If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. Emily Dickinson

* Poetry is plucking at the heartstrings, and making music with them. Dennis Gabor

* Poetry is the journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air. Carl Sandburg

* Poetry is eternal graffiti written in the heart of everyone. – Lawrence Ferlinghetti

* Poetry is a language in which man explores his own amazement. – Christopher Fry

* The poet doesn’t invent. He listens. – Jean Cocteau

* Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance. – Carl Sandburg

* Poetry is frosted fire. – J. Patrick Lewis

* Writing a book of poetry is like dropping a rose petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo. – Don Marquis

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Read on and read always!
It's a wrap.

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