lundi 4 novembre 2013

Reasons To Read Childrens Poems

By Allyson Burke

The average adult may not find poetry to be a significant part of his or her life, but it has proven itself to be a great medium that benefits children greatly. Reading childrens poems is an excellent way to develop certain life skills, such as learning rhythm, recognizing rhymes, and being able to tell apart different pitches. It is also a good way to get children to read, write, and sing.

Nursery rhymes are probably the earliest form of children's poetry. They have been around since the 1700's. The earliest nursery rhymes were lullabies, which were originally intended to help children fall sleep, hence the name.

Nursery rhymes developed distinctive melodic lines over the years, and were also used as historical references. "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep" referenced the wool tax and the slave trade in mid 18th century Britain. "London Bridge is Falling Down" referenced the sacking and pillaging that the Vikings left behind. "Ring Around the Rosie" was a lighthearted euphemism for the Black Plague. Nursery rhymes like these were easily memorized and sung because they had simple melodies, rhymed, and were short.

Repetition and speech is what children learn from the fastest. Singing, speaking, writing, and reading continuously help children develop language skills. Children with a lot of exposure to reading and speaking tend to have superior language comprehension capabilities and accelerated cognitive development by age 3. Poetry and nursery rhymes can teach all of these skills to a child.

Take the nursery rhyme "Ring Around the Rosie", for example. There are four lines, all of which rhyme, all with syllables that fit into the rhythm of the song. It is a very simple yet effective way to teach a child a few words, basic rhythm, and singing without completely boring the child. As mentioned above, children who are exposed to poetry and/or nursery rhymes at an early age are thought to show greater aptitude in music, reading, and even spatial reasoning.

Poems work so well at improving cognitive development because children enjoy poetry. It is important that the work is short in order to compensate for the lack of focus kids tend to have. Visual stimulation from a funny picture also tends to help. Children would probably find it boring to sit though an entire narrative. So today's poetry for children is focused primarily on entertaining children while accelerating their cognitive capabilities. Works by poets like Dr. Seuss or Shel Silverstein come to mind. Short poetry with humorous illustrations would be a lot more stimulating and fun to a child than would a long, arduous novel.

Poems can be viewed as the initial step to a bright future. Once a child develops a love for poetry, books and novels would most likely be the next step, leading to sophisticated vocabulary, excellent conversational skills, and a good writing style. Gaining an interest in reading through poetry is a great way to start off one's childhood.

But aside from academics, reading poetry has personal benefits as well. It keeps children entertained and it promotes the use of their imagination. Studies show that imagination and creativity keep children away from academic and social delinquency. Also, a creative mind would help in adolescence and adulthood by exploring unconventional solutions to life's problems.

Reading childrens poems is so unassuming that one might be taken aback by how good it is for the child. Nursery rhymes and poems from the 1700's still exist today for a reason. Reading poetry every night before bedtime is a great thing a parent can do for the future of his or her child.

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