The cow jumped over the moon ...
Hey diddle diddle ...
You already finished the rhyme, didn't you. Ever wondered why those childhood poems stick in your brain?
The answer is simple. Rhymes and poems have a beat.
At its essence, poetry is the most kinesthetic of all written forms. We can dance to it, sing to it, and feel to it. Poetry and rhyming tap into each listener's heart and soul in ways that other texts may miss.
From an educational view, poetry also fosters social and emotional growth.
Sharing poetry also builds a sense of community within a group of listeners and fosters creativity.
Poems are great avenues for self-expression--among all cultures and languages. Students who don't speak English in the classroom can still listen to, read, or write a poem in their own language. Poetry is universal!
Test it for yourself by reading the following lines aloud:
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
Thus begins one of the most beloved of children's poems, "Jabberwocky," by Lewis Carroll (from Alice Through the Looking Glass, and What She Saw There, 1872).
National Poetry Month may be nearing an end; but luckily, you can use poetry in the classroom all year round. Simply rhyme and repeat any of these activities in your class!