Teaching Poetry to Children Using Picture Books
Teaching poetry is not every teacher’s favourite thing. Find out how poetry benefits your students along with 30 diverse poetry picture books to use in the classroom.
Benefits of Teaching Poetry in the Classroom
What kind of teacher are you? One who can’t wait to teach poetry, or one who dreads it? I was definitely in the latter group until Richard Grant aka the Dreadlock Alien visited my school for a week two years running. His energy, passion and understanding of the impact of poetry helped me see the benefits of it in the classroom.
Find out more about how I organised the Dreadlock Alien’s visit and the impact he made on the students and teachers in the post How to Host a School Poetry Slam.
There are many benefits to reading and teaching poetry in the classroom, including:
- Rhyming helps your students see patterns within words
- Poetry introduces rich vocabulary
- Learning how the right words can create imagery, effect, and meaning
- Making connections to experiences and emotions
- Developing inferring skills and being able to ‘read between the lines’
- Developing listening skills when you read poetry read aloud
- Promoting visualisation skills and encouraging imagination
- Expressing their own opinions confidently as everyone interprets poetry in their own way.
Poetry Books for Children (and adults)
An Island Grows by Lola M. Schaefer
Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes
The Day War Came by Nicola Davies
Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle and Rafael López
The Great Realisation by Tomos Roberts
I Talk Like a River by Jordan Scott
Knock Knock: My Dad's Dream for Me by Daniel Beaty
Life Doesn't Frighten Me by Maya Angelou
The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane
Nature Trail by Benjamin Zephaniah
No Voice Too Small by Lindsay H. Metcalf
The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander
Under My Hijab by Hena Khan
Voice of Freedom Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford
Poets and their Poetry
I hope you found some inspiration to support your teaching of poetry. The videos above have a bit of a UK bias as these were poets that came to my mind. If you have any video suggestions of poets reading their poetry, let me know in the comments.
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