September 2011 Featured Article

jack prelutsky poem

Tagexdo of Jack Prelutsky’s poem “Be Glad Your Nose is On Your Face”

The Wonderful World of Poetry

School is back in session and many parents and teachers may find that some children are lacking critical reading skills necessary for success in the classroom.  Above and beyond simply knowing what sounds the letters make and how to say a word is the world of fluency.

Fluency in reading can be described as the ability to read aloud with appropriate speed, expression, and understanding.  Fluency means that the words flow from your tongue and you do not stumble over the pronunciations or phrasing.  One of the best ways you can help your child or student become a better reader is to read poetry together.

Here are some simple things parents and families can do together:

  • Have a family poetry night and take turns reading favorite poems aloud.
  • Recite familiar nursery rhymes over and over until you can say them from memory as quickly as possible.
  • Play a game of Mad Libs and see who can come up with the funniest, scariest, or most unusual story or poem.
  • Take turns saying rhyming words.  See who can be the last one to say a word that rhymes with the ones before it.
  • Expose your child to children’s poetry greats like Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein before branching out into less well known poets and anthologies.
  • Keep trying.  The more familiar the poem is the more your child will want to hear it over and over.

The benefits of poetry are many.  Children benefit from hearing words they may not otherwise be exposed to in spoken language.  Kids love humor, and poetry can be silly and engaging, fun and educational all at the same time.  Poems have a natural rhythm and are filled with descriptive language.  All of these benefits help to make your child a better reader.  And being a better reader will make for a more successful school year.

Other Links to Explore


Great poetry and literature books you need to check out:


poetry book covers collage


Booklist for image featured above:

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