Sunday, September 6, 2009

Parenting Tip #4 Memorize Poetry

Brandon, one of my 3rd grade music students, stood to recite a poem. It was the first day of the month, and I let my music students share a musical talent with the class, if they choose, once a month. Technically, reciting a poem is not a musical talent, but Brandon was in need of self esteem building and besides, being one of the more "rowdy boys" in the class, I was curious to see what he would share. He stood straight and tall and launched into a well memorized, long poem by Robert Louis Stevenson. Wow! My image of him changed dramatically. I had previously thought he was a little on the slow side, had no self control and I had lumped him into the "problem child" category in my mind. But now he leaped over into the "smart kid with lots of brain power" category. What made the difference? His ability to memorize a poem.

Why should children memorize poetry? It introduces them to phrases and vocabulary they might not hear in everyday language use, it instills a sense of rhythm and rhyme, it awakens a love for language and helps express emotions and thoughts in a new way. It teaches sentence structure, increases self esteem, helps one become a better writer.

If you have an infant, toddler, preschooler or elementary age child, read poetry to them. Additionally, encourage older children to memorize poems. Google "poetry and children" and you'll be at the computer for an hour! By the way, here's a snatch of a poem. Who wrote it?
Oh,I'm being eaten
By a boa constrictor,
A boa constrictor,
A boa constrictor,
I'm being eaten by a boa constrictor,
And I don't like it--one bit.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I love your parenting tips!
    Now...if I could just become one!
    A parent, that is...not a tip.




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