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Using Poetry to Teach Reading



Who can resist the joy of poets such as Jack Prelutsky or the late Shel Silverstein?

Start with humorous poems that rhyme! That's the first piece of advice in this easy-to-read guide on using more poetry in your classroom. Other advice includes tips for choosing poems, how to manage poetry readings, and how to avoid breaking copyright laws when you copy poems for kids to read.


What's New

Poetry Walk

Jumpstart poetry writing in your class! Poetry walks give students a way to "write about what they know." Before heading outdoors, read aloud a few poems that are rich in descriptive language. Then, take your class on a walk around the neighborhood to observe and collect sensory images from their direct experience with nature. Students can bring a poetry journal with them to write down descriptive words as they observe, listen, smell, and touch things outside the classroom.

Family Poetry Jam

Sharing poetry out loud with your kids is a great way to have fun with language. Poems include humor, interesting words, tongue twisters and alliteration. Start with playful, rhyming poetry about topics that are familiar to your child like animals, food and bedtime. Once a poem is familiar to your child, take turns reading! Find more tips (in English and Spanish) in this article from our Growing Readers series.

Today's News

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Today's Blog

"Aiming for Access" with June Behrmann

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More Highlights

Drop Everything and Read

Every year on April 12, we celebrate Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R) Day in honor of beloved children's author Beverly Cleary. It's a day to encourage reading in all its forms, so put aside all distractions and pick up a book — print or electronic. Silent reading can be a rich experience for all kids, with the right kinds of supports.

Revisiting Silent Reading

Does sustained silent reading improve reading achievement? Experts say, "it depends." Discover four conditions that improve the practice of silent reading in the classroom.

Scaffolding "Mindful" Silent Reading

Teaching students a set of prompts or procedures to use as they read helps them engage in mindful reading while gradually transitioning them to independently use a variety cognitive strategies — such as activating prior knowledge and questioning the author. See the sample lesson in this article.

Contributions From You

Sunset in Maine

Today's Artist

Sunset in Maine, by Rebecca, age 11

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Today's First Person Essay

Robert Rauschenberg by Robert Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg's works now hang in major art galleries and museums all over the world. When he was in school his success would not have been predicted. Rauschenberg has dyslexia...

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