While many adults may not look back at their poetry studies fondly and primary school students may dread the thought of trudging through archaic texts, poetry is an ever-evolving space that can be enjoyable and extremely important for primary school students’ education.
Poetry is essential for primary school students as it exposes them to the creative potential of language both within and outside specific rules and structures. Consequently, poetry promotes creativity, self-expression, interpretation, and communication among primary school students.
Along with the educational benefits of poetry are the social benefits associated with poetry competitions and how this factors into a broader understanding of the flexibility of language. Let’s explore these points in greater detail below:
Why Is Poetry Important For Primary School Students?
There are several reasons why poetry is essential for primary school students:
- Poetry teaches children how to express themselves,
- Poetry teaches rhythm and rhymes,
- Poetry encourages reading,
- Poetry helps improve interpretation skills,
- Poetry is engaging and enjoyable.
1. Poetry Teaches Children How To Express Themselves
For many children, the primary school can be a challenging time where they are first learning about themselves and trying to navigate themselves among friends and family. Consequently, finding creative outlets to express themselves can be an important social and developmental stage for primary school children.
Therefore, poetry is an avenue where children can improve their creativity, express themselves, and develop a nuanced understanding of emotions, thoughts, and feelings in a safe and comfortable space.
Although not always apparent and applied in their daily lives, poetry can provide a foundation from which primary school children can learn to improve their emotional maturity through creative and engaging methods! These are fundamental skills for introverted or shy children who are uncertain how to articulate their thoughts and feelings explicitly.
2. Poetry Teaches Rhythm And Rhymes
Poetry teaches some complex rhythm and rhyming techniques applicable in language, which in turn translates to its use in other creative endeavors like music. Consequently, this can spark inspiration or nuanced understandings of different art forms in primary school children!
The use of poetry as an example of these advanced techniques helps demystify the academic studies/jargon behind these language skills, which can be complex and abstract to primary school children without the assistance of real-world uses such as poetry.
3. Poetry Encourages Reading
While poetry may be an oral tradition and is, in fact, best illustrated and experienced through oral annunciation (more on this below), it remains at its roots a written art form, meaning that children have to read poetry to understand and engage with the material.
Consequently, poetry can help encourage children to read without the fear/hesitation often associated with primary school children and the challenge of reading a full-length novel. Instead, primary school children only have to read short poems, meaning they can consume various styles and genres in a short space of time.
Therefore, this is an excellent method of encouraging children to read while developing all the inherent benefits associated with reading, such as improved spelling, language, structure, vocabulary, and grammar.
Furthermore, most poems include creative writing and word usage, which children are unlikely to encounter in their day-to-day lives or through reading set school books.
4. Poetry Helps Improve Interpretation Skills
Because poetry is a form of creative writing that uses complex language techniques and figures of speech such as metaphors to express meaning, thoughts, opinions, and emotion, people who read poetry often have to use their interpretation skills to decipher meaning.
Consequently, unlike most fiction and non-fiction novels aimed at school children, which use straightforward language to tell a story or explain an idea, poetry challenges children to use their interpretive skills to decipher meaning from text that may appear abstract at face value.
Not only does this improve children’s creativity, imagination, and problem-solving skills, but it also serves as a platform for class discussions surrounding poetry and meaning.
Therefore, children can be given a safe space to express their thought and opinions on a topic which is likely to spur debate and deeper discussions about the importance of point of view when discussing poetry.
5. Poetry Is Engaging And Enjoyable
Finally, poetry can be an engaging and enjoyable form of media. Thus, providing primary school children the opportunity to engage with poetry at a young age can foster a love and appreciation for an art form that could last them a lifetime!
What Types Of Poems Are Good For Primary School Students?
While there are numerous poetry genres, the best types of poems for primary school students are:
- Free verse.
Sonnets teach primary school children the importance of following rules in poetry, namely a fourteen-line rhyming poem usually consisting of ten syllables a rhyme. Furthermore, the topics/genres of sonnet usually involve dramatic scenes, imagery, emotions, or opinions.
Limericks are a simple way of teaching primary children basic rhyming schemes, all the while usually incorporating humorous rhythms and content. It’s this use of humor that makes limericks a great introduction to poetry for primary school children who may be reluctant to engage with the subject.
Originating from Japan, haikus force children to apply extreme creativity to create meaning and purpose in a short format. Therefore, haikus teach primary school children the importance of problem-solving, subject to strict rules and restrictions.
4. Free Verse
Free verse is essential for primary school children to be exposed to, as it teaches children from a young age that poetry can follow a plethora of its own rules, which promotes creativity and dispels any misconceptions about poetry as an “archaic” and “strict” form of self-expression.
The Importance Of Poetry Competitions In Primary School?
Poetry competitions are an excellent way to encourage children to write poetry, partake in discussions around poetry, listen to the poetry of their peers, and present their own poems to their classmates.
Consequently, poetry competitions allow teachers/organizers to tap into the inherently competitive nature of primary school children while making it a mutual space for discussion and art appreciation, in contrast to other forms of competition such as inter-school sports.
What Does Poetry Teach Students About Language?
One of the beautiful things about poetry is while some poems have set structures, different genres, such as free-form poetry, help primary school children to understand the flexibility surrounding the use of language rules.
Furthermore, it exposes primary school children to language as an ever-evolving way of communication that is subject to manipulation by people of different cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.
It also teaches, depending on the poem of course, about rhyme and rhythms of English and how sounds can fit together.
For phonics and sound patterns Poetry works incredibly and gives a confidence boost to your learners, so while its important in primary and grade schools, we suggest it is essential in ESL classrooms as well.
Some Poetry Resources for Primary.
Although we have some on site for free, sometimes its nice to have a proper book in your hands when teaching your students and children. So we have two free resources and two of the better books out there for younger children from Amazon.
Scribble Stones by Diane Alber
Days like this: Simon James – compiled
if you are looking for younger age poetry we have our Kindergarten Poetry Article here for you as well. With some recommendations.
In conclusion, poetry is an essential field of study for primary school students, which provides a fun and engaging way to introduce them to “high-level” language concepts for future every day/academic use!