Poetry in Language Arts

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Why is it that some students once they reach the intermediate grades groan when teachers mention the word poetry? Are educators informed enough on the benefits of poetry in language arts studies to answer; why study poetry at all? As educators we know that poetry is a useful tool in the development of language and literacy skills. Incorporating poetry into language arts aids in the development of reading and writing skills and encourages students to develop critical thinking skills and further helps students make meaning from words. For young children, poetry engages students into the literature they are being exposed to through rhymes and emphasizes listening skills. For older children in intermediate grades and high school, poetry can be used as a vessel of self-expression when they no longer feel comfortable sharing and expressing their ideas verbally and poetry can encourage sophisticated writing skills. The power of poetry in language arts is most evident through larger theme based units that can often include the participation of the entire class. Themes such as “Peace” and “Environmental Issues” may be used as an assessment indicator by educators in language arts curriculum.

The first article from the Journal of Instructional Psychology titled “Exploring Poetry: The Reading and Writing Connection” focuses on the incorporation of poetry into the reading and writing curriculum and factors educators need to consider when introducing poetry to students. For younger children, poetry is another facet of storytelling; it gives meaning to experiences people go through in life. Illustrations and rhyming found in children’s poetry help children to better remember the stories that have been read to them. The “ingredients” of poetry as the author calls them, refer to the use of creative comparisons, alliteration and onomatopoeia. Through these ingredients, students can hear the uniqueness that poetry presents in languages. There are various different kinds of...
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