Teaching Poetry

Why Reading Poetry To Children Is Important


The importance of reading aloud to children is stressed more and more. It is at the core of putting children on the path to success. Even though a child might be too young to verbally respond when a book is read aloud, it’s still extremely important for their language development.

Parents should not only read aloud stories, reading aloud poetry is also encouraged and has many benefits.

Phonological Awareness

Before children are able to read on their own, they need to have an understanding of the way sounds are used to create language. This is called phonological awareness. A children with phonological awareness have an understanding that words are made up of different sounds. They are able to recognize rhymes, split words into syllables, blend phonemes (the smallest unit of sound) to create words, and identify beginning and ending sounds in words. Poetry is a great way to help build this awareness in children because of the rhythm and rhyme.


The more children listen to read alouds, the more their vocabulary develops. The more words they have in their vocabularies, the more they will be able to express themselves successfully. Written pieces also expose children to words that are not used on a daily basis at home, which strengthens their vocabulary.

Background Knowledge

Background knowledge is simply the knowledge that you bring to a new situation.

By listening to a variety of text, children are expanding their background knowledge. Even if they don’t get to personally experience a specific event, reading allows them to have some understanding of that experience. It builds their background knowledge for when they encounter something similar at a later date.

Importance of Reading Aloud

Reading aloud to children is crucial, and it’s never too early to begin. Exposing children to the written word will help them develop skills necessary for success in the future. Reading aloud to them will also help develop a love for books because they begin associating reading time with love and affection.

more by Tynea Lewis

Article applicable to: Teachers teaching grades K-2 and parents of young children

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