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Poems and Rhymes

Children love poetry and rhymes and quickly learn to identify rhyming words in stories. There are a range of rhyming books available which are suitable for very young children such as 'Mole in the Hole', 'Chicken Licken' and 'Duck in the Truck'. Rhyming stories are ideal for shared reading experiences and your child may surprise you with how quickly they remember and join in with the rhyming phrases. These stories can be read again and again as children learn to identify and pick out the rhyme. Rhyming stories are ideal for children who may struggle with listening as the rhyming phrases make the story fast moving and exciting. Children can hear the rhyming patterns and this helps maintain the child's attention. 

Writing Poems

Introducing children to poems at a young age will develop their interest and enthusiasm early on. There are many poems which are specifically written to engage children such as those by Michael Rosen. The Usborne Book of Poetry for Children is another great way of introducing your child to a wide variety of poems.

The easiest way to help your child write poems is to share lots of poetry with them so they can quickly become familiar with poetical language. Read a range of funny, sad and silly poems as well as poems and rhymes with nonsense words.  Make sure your child is aware of the variety of poems available. 

Introducing and playing rhyming and rhythmic games with children also helps them to write poetry. Nursery rhymes are the first poems children usually learn. Listening to poetry or a rhyming story on CD is helpful as it encourages your child to recognise rhythm. Resources such as  A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat are an ideal way of introducing this.

Encourage your child to write about things that are relevant and important to them. Poetry is a good way for children to express their emotions and feelings so utilise this opportunity. Encourage your child to use similes in their poems to compare two things by using 'like' or 'as'. Your child will need some help to write a poem using similes to start with, but this is a powerful tool in poetry writing.

Your child can include as many similes as they choose in the poem template shown below, which is an ideal way for your child to start writing poetry, as the structure is so simple to follow. Children as young as six have written poems using this format. Your child may enjoy writing about their best friend, family member or pet as this makes poetry writing more meaningful. Once your child has written their poem encourage them to read it back to you ; this will allow them to appreciate the impact of similes and the choice of language. You may also like to introduce alliteration for greater effect.

Simple Poetry Template

__________ is my best friend,

Without ________ I feel like,

A star with no shine,

A book without a cover,

A playground with no children,

A flower without petals,

________ is my best friend.

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