In the previous post, we saw that singing and poems recitations are unfortunately not included in the curriculum of most schools in Malaysia.
Yet research suggests that music has direct impact in helping young children develop literacy skills.
What about poetry and recitations then? Do these also have significant impact in helping our young learners develop literacy skills?
What Is Poetry Recitation?
Poetry recitation is literary work where ideas and feelings, accentuated with the use of distinctive style and rhythm is delivered through a public speaking activity with a focus on rhythm, alliteration some repetitions.
Poetry as an art breaks across grammar and syntax to create something new and imaginative for the children. It provides an adventure for the mind.
What are some benefits of using poetry and recitations?
1. Poetry and Rhymes Help Develop Rhythm
Reading rhyming poetry out loud makes it easier for younger children to learn new vocabulary words.
This is attributed to the rhythmic structure of the stanzas that help create a known context to new and unknown words. They are also introduced to words that sound alike but with different meaning.
Experts in literacy and child development have discovered that
“If children know eight nursery rhymes by heart by the time they’re four years old, they’re usually among the best readers by the time they’re eight.”
Quote taken from Why do children love poems. Fox, Mem. (2001). Reading Magic, Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever. San Diego, CA: Harcourt.
2. Poetry and Rhymes Help Develop Phonemic Awareness
Children reciting rhythmic poetry learn and understand pitch, voice inflection, and volume.
With young learners, it is infinitely more difficult to grasp the usage of voice variables. Reciting poetry helps place emphasis on the sound and the rhythm of language, thus building a child’s phonemic awareness and help to solidify a foundation for reading abilities.
3. Poetry and Rhymes Help Develop Memorization Skills
Children also learn to pick up patterns and sequences in poetry recitations. As they practice memorizing the poetry to recite, it links memory with audio and visual events, helping them develop memorization skills.
The benefits do not end here. Being proficient in memorization, patterns, and sequences in turns give students an advantage in learning new languages, reading comprehension and mathematics.
4. Poetry and Rhymes Help Develop Self Expressions
When reciting poetry students are given the freedom to express feelings to their audience. It is a form of self-expression with the creativity of words and emotion to convey a message to the audience.
This message takes on different tones, playing out the different emotions of being humorous to being defeated to being furious or to being loving.
In poetry recitations, not only are the words used to give a meaning to the poem, but the voice, volume, inflexion, pitch, pauses and speed of a person contributes to the entire recitation experience as well, enhancing the meaning of the poem.
And in so doing, the poem is brought to life with the passion and vocal expression of the presenter.
5. Poetry and Rhymes Help Develop Physical Awareness
Students who recite poetry are aware of breathe coordination, movements of the mouth and other physical gestures as they align these to the rhythm in the poetry. They also make use of gestures and facial expressions to connect with their audience on an emotional level.
An additional bonus for practicing poetry recitations us that learners gain confidence in public speaking skills. We have observed that students who have recited poetry in public before are more open to speaking in front of an unknown audiences. Early expose would make the children feel more at ease with taking on new challenges with meeting new people and networking.
Poetry Recitation Is Used In Scholar Base
At Scholar Base, we incorporate poetry recitation as part of our curriculum. Children are given the opportunity to read aloud a variety of poetry at poetry recitals, including ones written by published poets as well as their own original poems and our students absolutely enjoy the learning experience.