Tuesday, October 24, 2017

20 Reasons to teach Poetry, at all ages

In the English language there is a difference between the word "song" to the word "poem", which does not necessarily exists in other languages, such as Hebrew for example. In elementary school, we give a lot of room to rhymes and recitations at the lower grades, and later on, we discuss poems or songs while discussing a certain holiday/season/poet. Later on in junior high and high school, we analyze specific literary works.

Personally, I teach a big variety of songs and poems throughout the school year, for various reasons:

1. Exposure to the material and expending the vocabulary
2. Exposure to different views and ideas
3. The connection between a poet/writer to their works
4. Word games
5. Developing the Imagination
6. Explaining and teaching grammar rules that apply only in poems and not in the daily language, Linguistic manipulation that exist only in poetry
7. Development of listening skills
8. Developing the ability for personal commentary
9. Discussing emotions
10. Developing a discussion
11. Discussing the connection between lyrics and music
12. Using art as a tool for expressing criticism - personal/expressional
13. Developing curiosity
14. Learning about a Historical period, general knowledge etc.
15. Creating logical connection to relevant issues – the cycle of a year, famous figures, personal events etc.
16. Developing a reflective, emotional and logical thinking
17. Enabling the children to express their inner-world in the class
18. Reading comprehension
19. Developing the skills for poem writing
20. Exposure to music tones, structures and mobility

I guess there are many more reasons to teach poetry and songs, and I want to present to you my way and to offer you a way to develop your own version. In my class the main goal of my teaching is to expose the children to a wide variety of songs and poems from different periods, different cultures and styles. The process is by reading-observations-understanding-discussing the poem/song. I sometimes add playing a related music from the same period/creator/subject/emotion before learning and discussing the relevant material.

I find the way in which the children draw the dots between the two works as very interesting, and I make it a point not to lead the discussion in the class, but to allow them to lead it on their own to the directions that seem relevant and important to them. I do sometimes try to add guiding questions or a summary of what was already said.

The sooner we will start to expose children to various poetry thus their abilities to discuss broader and deeper issues will grow.

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