Cambridge Nanny Group is excited to introduce you to our groovy new community partner the Poetry Foundation Library. They offer fabulous and free weekly programming for children ages three to five. So if you’re looking for a cultural activity that is free, be sure to check out their free children’s programming.
Why is poetry important?
“There are several important areas of learning which form a foundation for becoming literate and this is where poetry plays a significant part. These areas are phonological awareness, letter learning, phonics, concepts about print and fluency.Phonological awareness encompasses the sounds of a language. When a child hears, chants or sings poems, he/she becomes more aware of sound patterns and how they are connected (for example, words that rhyme or start the same). Gradually, a child is able to identify the individual sounds or phonemes in words, called ‘phonemic awareness.’ The ability for a child to identify individual sounds in words is essential when he/she is learning to connect sounds and letters. A young child needs to learn to play with language and manipulate sounds. Using specific poetry can:
- Listen for and identify rhyming words
- Listen for and indentify syllables within words.
- Listen for individual sounds in words.
- Identify similar sounds in words.
- Divide words into sounds.
- Blend sounds to form words.
- Match sounds and letters.
Another important element when it comes to using poetry is letter learning. When it comes to a child learning his/her letters, he/she needs to be able to distinguish the features that make one different from every other letter. The difference between letters is actually quite small and this task requires close attention. Learning how to look at letters is essential if a child is expected to connect letters and sounds and learn letter names. Through repeated exposure to letters in the poems a child begins to notice letters that are embedded in print. Learning this skill helps a child to:
- Notice and locate letters in words.
- Learn to find the beginning letter of a word.
- Connect words by beginning or ending letters.
- Connect words in poems to letters in their names. “
– Sharon Oberne, Literacy Specialist
Cambridge Nanny Group
4707 N Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640