It’s the 25th anniversary of National Poetry Day in the UK on Thursday 3rd October and everyone’s invited! Events, readings, workshops and activities are being held up and down the country to bring people together to celebrate poetry. Why is there a day dedicated to celebrating poetry? Read on to find out!
It improves vocabulary
When reading or listening to poetry, children are introduced to new vocabulary in context. An added benefit of this is that they begin to see how those words are used to enhance effect and meaning. When writing poetry, children might need to reach for a dictionary or thesaurus to find words they might not otherwise use, particularly if they are using specific techniques like alliteration or rhyme. Furthermore, having regular discussions about poems can promote conversations around word choices and their meanings.
It’s a form of therapy
You may have heard that if you are upset about something, it is best to talk about it or write it down. Poetry creates the perfect opportunity for children to do this. It allows them to express their thoughts and feelings on paper, helping to free their minds, thus improving their mental health. Being exposed to poetry can also help children build resilience by understanding that they are not alone.
It connects people
Reading, listening to and discussing a wide variety of poetry can help children develop empathy. Poetry introduces children to different points of view, which provides them with insights into the lives of others, including those from different walks of lives.
There’s no right or wrong
The wonderful thing about poetry is that there is no right or wrong way to write it – the writer is in complete control. This makes poetry a means of communication that is suitable for all. For example, children who might find writing difficult or who speak English as an additional language won’t feel restricted by rules or limited by their vocabulary.
It builds literacy skills
Poems can be short in length, but big in the boost they can bring to children’s literacy skills. Firstly, short poems are less intimidating to reluctant or struggling readers and are therefore an accessible form of reading. As well as developing children’s speaking and listening skills, poetry ensures children are reading a variety of material, which helps to improve their comprehension skills, broaden their vocabulary and introduces them to interests they may want to pursue further. Poetry also provides a context for the teaching of word-level skills (spelling) and sentence-level skills (grammar and punctuation) in a fun way!
What are you waiting for? Share a poem today!