How Poetry Improves Your Child's English: How To Get Your Kids Interested!
by I Can Read Singapore on 22 Feb 2022
What Makes A Good Budding Poet
Children are readily and immediately engaged in the power of poetry and its amazing ability to inspire emotions and reaction. If you read a Dr. Suess poem to your young learner right now, you will see their eyes instantly light up with delight.
Such positive exposure to poems will ensure exposure to repetitive words and mirrored word sounds which lead to correct pronunciation. Children also learn new vocabulary from poems with greater ease hence developing their general language development through exposure to poetry while keeping them imaginatively engaged. Intonation and voice development is also possible with poetry reading and presentation as children will naturally follow rhythm and tone in a poem they hear. Whilst there’s no doubt they love reading, listening to poems and developing their language skills through poetry, it is highly likely that your child has yet to tap into their ability to write their very own poems. Trust us when we say all kids have the intrinsic potential to write wonderful, exciting, funny poetry. So let’s see how we can encourage that in your children.
People often think the most difficult part of writing poetry is the rhyming scheme expected or even coming up with a clever and original idea. However, this is far from the reality. The hardest part of writing poetry is in the simple act of sitting down and starting to write. Oftentimes you will find that once you actually do sit down to write, it is not as hard as you might think it might be. Being encouraging will be essential in getting them to begin their own poetry writing process. Remember, it’s not a school assignment but an expression of joy through words. Make it an activity that you do together for fun and your child will instantly be more receptive.
You can also inspire your budding poet by sharing with them that poems come in a wide variety. From haikus, to a firm favourite of young learners; acrostic poems. Best of all, having your child free style a verse of their own choice that rhymes or not is an amazing way to get them excited about the writing process! It doesn’t matter what they express, as long as they can do it creatively, artistically and willingly. This will show them that there is always a starting point as a writer and freedom of expression is integral to their continued interest in the process.
Getting started is simple enough because all you really need is a pencil and a piece of paper. But, if your child starts getting serious about writing poetry, there are a couple more things you should have and do. Read on for our tips on writing a great poem.
Like most things, Practice is key. Each time your child attempts writing a poem, they will find out what their area or topics of interest are, the type of poetry style they like and how they feel as they write. This process will help them polish up their sense of expression and flair for the poetic writing process. Each poem they write will get a little better . Writing a new poem every day for a week, will bring out a better poet in your child. Commitment to the process of poetry writing practice will encourage them to keep trying and hone their skills.
A Poetry Notebook
At ICR we always recommend a poetry notebook. Your child may have one for new vocabulary they encounter. So, why should poems be any different? If you can find a notebook that fits in their pocket, even better. Then your little poet can carry it with them everywhere they go, gathering ideas, rhyming words or even writing freely whenever they feel they feel they have an idea. After all, you never know when inspiration may strike. By carrying a notebook, they can write down ideas as they flow.
Don’t worry about neatness, tell your child they can be as messy as they want for once! Assure them their poetry notebook is a free space to be silly or express themselves. The only thing that matters is that they capture ideas as they come. Write those thoughts and ideas down on paper once they come to them and you will see your child delving more eagerly into the process of writing poetry.
Don’t fuss about the spelling (for once)
Another thing not to worry too much about in the creative stages is spelling and punctuation. These are important, but only for the final product. You can offer to help your child edit their writing when they are done. But, let them know the most important thing is to write freely and that there is a time for spell check and proofreading. Ensure this is done after the poem is complete, otherwise they will get bogged down and frustrated about corrections and this may hinder the creative flow. Remember, interest in the process is very important so, keep it positive and encouraging always!
Edit at the end
A very important job that all poets must learn is editing. After their creative bouts of writing, a poet must still acknowledge the rules of English and ensure accuracy in expression is achieved. Poems are almost never done in the first round of writing. Let your child know that it is alright to keep going back to the poem to continually refine it. Attempt to complete the poem though, before making specific grammar or language edits. If you constantly stop to make corrections as you write, it will be much harder to finish it. inspiration can come at any time and so completing accomplishing the idea of the poem is very important. When the artistic and expressive flair has been achieved, the poem will need to be assessed and edited for structural language and grammar errors that might be present. Going back to the poem with new eyes will allow your young poet to refine the poem even more.
Invest in a rhyming dictionary
Once you notice your child really enjoying the creative outlet of poetry writing, it would be very beneficial to get them a rhyming dictionary. These dictionaries have wonderful long lists of words that rhyme. This will greatly help to inspire your budding poet along the way. A quick glance and flip through it can even stir the creative juices in your child therefore inspiring them to begin writing a poem as well.
Get a dictionary
Of course we can’t forget a regular dictionary and a thesaurus, both of which are highly recommended in addition to a rhyming dictionary. Going back to the basics of having a broad base of words and their accurate meanings will allow a good poet to stay relevant to the context of their poem. It will also be there to help when you can’t think of a word or need a quick inspiration. Keeping a reservoir of words to write a creative expression of ideas will be of great use to any child.
And so with these tips, we hope your child can find inspiration and a poetic sense of expression within themselves. All the best and happy writing, we can’t wait to read all your wonderful poems kids!