Tips for Loving Poetry and Promoting Literacy


Tips for Loving Poetry and Promoting Literacy



In last month’s post, WHY POETRY? Building Literacy Skills with Poetry, I gave lots of reasons to love poetry. Today I have specific tips for promoting poetry at home and in the classroom.


Read Aloud

Read the poem aloud (poems need this!) or encourage your child to read it – or take turns (best!).


Group Reading

Everyone reads a poem together. This can be tricky and hilarious. Each participant takes turns reading lines.


Poem of the Week or Day

Print out, print by hand, or have a child print by hand (see Expressive Handwriting below) a favorite poem. Have copies available for anyone to carry around.


Poetry Break

Have a big sign that says “Poetry Break.” Hold it up during boring times and recite or read a favorite and/or new poem. See The Poetry Break (below in Resources) for lots about this.


Poetry Night

At home or at school, everyone steps up to the microphone (real or mock) and recites a poem (having it memorized is strongly encouraged but not mandatory). Camp it up! Be expressive! Consider costumes! Don’t forget the refreshments!


Waiting Times

One of the beauties about poems is they are so portable and often designed for short snatches of time. Read and share during short down times: standing in line, backseat car riding, doctor appointments, between lessons at school…


Act It Out

Some poems just want to be acted out, especially ones that have lots of movement and/or expressions.


Expressive Handwriting

Copy poems in different colors, printing styles, and shapes, based on how the reader sees and feels the poem. Compare interpretations.


Expressive Illustrations

Many poems beg to be illustrated. Encourage your child to pick a poem to illustrate. A fun group activity is to agree on a poem, read it aloud several times and then everyone does his/her own illustration. You may be surprised at the differences.


Shared Poems

Write a poem with a partner. Poet one writes the first line and hands the poem to his partner poet (alliteration!) who writes the next line. Poet One writes the third line and so one…




What to Read When

by Pam Allen

This is a wonderful resource for books and ideas for how to use them for kids birth to ten. There is a nice section of 50 emotional themes (adoption, bullying, grandparents…) for helping find a book for your child’s situation.

How to Get Your Child to Love Reading

by Esmé Raji Codell

This is also a wonderful resource for finding books to match kids’ interests and situations.

The Poetry Break: An Annotated Anthology with Ideas for Introducing Children to Poetry

by Caroline Feller Bauer

This is a terrific resource for ideas and poems!



20 Terrific Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month

from Minds in Bloom

National Poetry Month 

from Reading Rockets


What are your fun ways to celebrate National Poetry MonthWrite them in the Comments Box!


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