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Rationale for poetry.

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Rationale for poetry The areas of English taught at Key Stage 1[KS1] and Key Stage 2 [KS2] are set out in the National Curriculum [NC] document. Poetry is one of these areas. At KS1 children should read and listen to nursery rhymes and poetry, learning some by heart, and read aloud. At KS2 children should read aloud, telling and enacting stories and poems. The National Literacy Strategy [NLS] guides teachers on which poems and poetic forms to teach in the classroom. There are two recent views that the NC and the NLS are failing in their approach to poetry. * According to Carter, the NC for English is very limited in its approach to poetry [Carter, 1998]. He argues that the NC fails to take on board the potential poetry has to offer in many areas of a child's development such as language, sensibility and dream power. * Bielby [1999], as cited by Lambirth, argues that children come to school already enjoying rhyme and poetry yet this enjoyment is being corrupted by the analytical and technical approach of the NLS. ...read more.


Through the use of rhymes and songs teachers are able to focus on language structures and patterns. Develops speaking, listening, reading and writing More importantly, research by Bryant and Bradley [1985] cited by Whitehead, confirms that sensitivity to the sounds and rhythms of spoken language, playing with language, words and rhyme supports early success in learning to read and write [Whitehead, 1990]. However a lack of awareness of sounds and rhymes in daily language use is found among children who experience difficulty with reading Carter argues that if children listen, read, learn by heart and speak poetry regularly it does contribute to their development in speaking, listening and reading [Carter, 1998]. Listening is an important part of poetry. Ted Hughes [1963] is cited by Bentley et al as saying that what is most important when listening to poetry is that "we hear the song and the dance in the words" [Bentley et al, 2001]. In order to achieve this children need to be exposed to poetry on a very regular basis. Children need to be encouraged to talk about their reading and writing experiences. ...read more.


The task of the teacher is therefore to move children on from a love of simple rhyme to the appreciation of poetry with its use of imagery. [Fisher, 2000] Poetry can therefore motivate children to read if it is treated as a source of pleasure. Poetry can also act as a motivator for those with special needs. The writing of poetry in its simplest of forms is far less challenging than a piece of prose. Children gain a sense of achievement on completing a whole piece of work. Cultural heritage Poetry is part of our cultural heritage to be passed on to children. The NLS includes traditional poems and rhymes for teachers to teach Conclusion The importance of poetry is well recognised and is therefore included in the NC. However, referring back to the views of Carter and Bielby, the NC does not put enough emphasis on poetry compared to other area of the curriculum for English. Part of the failings may also lay with some teachers who have not recognised the importance of poetry or do not have the confidence to teach poetry. Therefore poetry does not achieve it full potential for the children. ...read more.

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