It might feel like poetry (and the arts in general) has been pushed aside in favor of more science- and technology-based curricula, but is that really for the best? Maybe not, according to some educators. In this article from Edudemic, they list 7 reasons why poetry needs to stay a part of the K-12 educational experience. Check out an excerpt from their list below, and be sure to give it a full read here.
- Inference: Poetry requires readers to read beyond the words in front of them. This is a skill important in the reading of both fiction and nonfiction texts. Student’s who learn to analyze poetry will quickly transfer the skill to other types of reading.
- Emotions: All students are bundles of emotional energy. Writing poetry is an outlet to express thoughts and feelings. Reading poetry allows students to experience how other writers have reacted to situations of struggle, like lost love, bigotry, oppression, and death. Without the rigid rules of prose holding them back, students can feel comfortable expressing the messy world of emotions in any poetic structure.
- Figures of Speech: Poetry is ripe with similes, metaphors, imagery, personifications, and all the other types of figures of speech that allow writers to create art within their words. Studying the language used in poetry provides students with a context for these new skills. Writing poetry gives students an authentic reason to use figures of speech, a skill that requires empathy and seeing connections between often unlike objects. The website Frost Friends has created this helpful chart that organizes some of Robert Frost’s poems by which types of figurative language are used within each.
- Historical: Modern poetry can be a wonderful introduction to the genre, because the language and themes may be immediately recognizable to students. However, teaching poetry from various historical periods can be important in helping students discover how art reflects the time in which it was created. The emotional aspect of poetry will give students a look into what it was like to leave during a specific event or time period. This article by webexhibits.org explains some of the major poetic movements and prominent poets during each time period.
- Performance: Poetry is meant to be read aloud. Whether students recite poems from memory or read the words from a page, the speaking skills required to perform poetry go beyond normal conversation. Students who read and perform poetry need to consider pacing, rhythm, and enunciation. They must express emotion through tone. The Poetry Out Loud site offers some great tips for reciting poetry.