Five Reasons Why We Need Poetry in Schools

Five Reasons Why We Need Poetry in Schools
  • Opening Intro -

    Poetry has become a language of love, rhyme, rhythm, and story that crosses generations and time.

    With April being National Poetry Month, now is the perfect time to let a little poetry into your classroom!


By purchasing class sets of books, reading to your children, and providing time for writing poetry, teachers can promote this beneficial form of literature to their children that may instill a love of poetry for years to come.

1. Poetry promotes literacy

Due to its rhythmic nature and rhyming sounds, poetry is a great way to promote literacy, vocabulary, and phonics. Even children as young as preschool and infants can enjoy the easy sounds that poetry creates. When accompanied by movement or finger plays, poetry creates a full body experience that connects the brain with all parts of the body. Books written in poetry form get young children excited about reading and many are able to memorize the story due to the rhymes.

2. Poetry Builds Community and Understanding

Poetry, especially when written by children, helps us understand each other and where we come from. Poetry allows children of all ages to express their passions, fears, dreams, thoughts, and roots. This form of literature also teaches children how to incorporate many figures of speech including:

  • Similes
  • Metaphors
  • Personifications
  • Hyperboles
  • Imagery

Poetry gives children the opportunity to break the usual rules of grammar. It does not require full sentences, proper punctuation, or capitalization.

3. Poetry can be Used to Teach English Language Learners

As more families continue to immigrate to the United States, the number of English Language Learners (ELL’s) increases as well. These students are learning English as their second language and therefore usually have a difficult time with common literature. As discussed earlier, poetry does not follow grammatical rules, making it a very accessible form of expression and understanding for those just learning the English language. ELL students can also write and read poetry in their own language to help their classmates and teachers understand their culture and create bridges between their family life and school life.

4. Poetry Builds Resilience and Opens our Eyes

The beauty of poetry comes in its ability to reach across cultures, experiences, and held beliefs. Poetry written by such authors of Jack Prelutsky or Shel Silverstein can bring humor or understanding to difficult situations. Poetry can also open the imaginations of children and it can be linked to other subjects such as art, math, and science. Students can write poems about their favorite rainforest animal or planet, providing a link between their own life and the subject they are learning in school. Poetry also helps students to understand suffering, joy, and many other emotions that they may not be able to comprehend or express through just talking with a friend or teacher.

5. Poetry Creates new Venues for Expression

Poetry is a great way to provide students and adults with an avenue to express themselves outside of their classroom. Examples of these events include poetry slams, spoken word celebrations, or poetry readings from student made poetry compilations. When a student or adult has an audience to share their writing with, they are more willing to express themselves in a wide variety of venues.

If you are ready to add poetry into your classroom, just remember to have fun and read and write poetry that connects with you and your students.


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Categories: Academics