Poetry is a perfect instrument to develop memory, sense of rhythm, creativity and sensitivity in children. For boys and girls to enjoy it, they need to learn it in the most efficient and stimulating way possible. This is not difficult, because it seems that children are especially open to learning poetry.
All experts, and by this we mean educators and poets recommend that the approach to poetry be done through play. If we already recommend some books for the little ones, now we want to give you certain recommendations to start reading them or learn their poems.
Poetry and childhood, the perfect symbiosis
One could say that poetry arises naturally in the child. She looks like the ideal companion of childhood. Boys and girls learn to play with language with children’s songs, tongue twisters and riddles, all of them are poetry. With these stanzas, rhythmic guidelines are incorporated, typical of our language.
When you start reading books to your children, you’ll notice that most of them are poetry, or at least verses. Very soon the child will be able to repeat, even before learning to read these phrases. When they begin to read, they will look for this same ease, and then with age prose will come, but they will hardly ever abandon poetry.
Another advantage of poetry in childhood is interpretation, reciting it. To say aloud a poetry involves the expressiveness of the body, handle the tone of voice, posture. This declamation of poetry does not have to imply a public exhibition, which for some children is counterproductive, but a fun game at home. Each member can read a poem and tell others.
Tips for learning and teaching poetry
As we have pointed out to learn certain poems must be done from the game, in the case of the smallest, and in an environment conducive to joy, in the case of any age. Poetry can be learned while doing something else, helping in the kitchen, taking a walk… Also as if it were a game, you start by telling a verse to the child, he or she continues, then you and so it becomes a conversation.
Learning is more natural by hearing, therefore reading the poem by the child himself should be after he has heard it. This is not always possible, but this would be the most natural way. If the child listens first will already have a first impression, much of the magic of poetry is in his evocative, and sound power, and he will surely react to some stanzas.
Poems for children should be short. Sometimes the value of some poems, such as tongue twisters, lies in the sound effect they produce in children, they are only interested in poetry because of their musical strength. They are sounds adjusted to the musical that will help to cultivate the sense of rhythm and rhyme.
Helping children understand poetry
To recite a poetry it is not enough to memorize, there is a work of diction and interpretation. If you want a child to recite a poem before he will have assimilated and understood it. It is essential that we ask the child if he has captured the story. No matter how old the child is, and whatever poetry it is, for him it must make sense.
Children learn poetry if we read with them several times the text, aloud and calmly. This will get acquainted with rhymes and pun games and discover their internal construction. Very important is that the poem is presented as a whole. We should not force children to memorize the poem if they are not naturally inclined to do so. Many children end up disenchanted by poetry because they were imposed by heart works that do not interest them.
If the child is going to memorize poetry, then say it is important that we help him express what he feels when he saysit. It is about establishing correspondences with his experiences, for this we can ask him to draw a drawing of the poem, this will be his first personal translation of the text.