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Improve Children's Reading with Poetry

Nile Stanley Picture Volume 1 Number 7 April 2007

Dr. Stanley's "Improve Children's Reading with Poetry" and the Reading Calendar are a monthly feature of the Department of Childhood Education, University of North Florida, 4567 Saint Johns Bluff Road, South, Jacksonville, FL 32224 nstanley@unf.edu, 904-620-1849.

by Nile Stanley, Ph.D.
Chair, Childhood Education

(PDF version)

April is National Poetry Month. There's one important message that I hope you'll take away from this month's reading calendar. Poetry helps children learn to read. I know this from personal experience and as the result of extensive research. Poetry's value as a teaching tool should be experienced by anyone who teaches reading. You'll be amazed at the results garnered by incorporating poetry into your daily literacy instruction, and surprised that your classroom has functioned for so long without it.

As a professor and author-in-residence at Brentwood Elementary School (a predominately African-American magnet school for the performing arts in Jacksonville, Florida), I use poetry to teach reading to pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade students. I perform for thousands of children each year during class visits, school assemblies, literacy celebrations, community events, and conferences.

Poetry enhances your standards-based reading instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. It gives you a highly energetic style of teaching. It forges your students' connections to self, school, and community. It touches children at an emotional level, engaging and involving them, especially when they experience it as performance.

Check out my new online resources -they're free and updated monthly!

Climbing the Poet-Tree Club videos http://www.unf.edu/~nstanley/climb.htm 

PowerPoint Poetry http://www.unf.edu/~nstanley/powerpoint.htm 

Reading Calendar of activities http://www.unf.edu/~nstanley/readcalendar.htm 

Interviews with literacy leaders http://www.unf.edu/~nstanley/fcat.htm 


Creating Readers With Poetry Creating Readers with Poetry (with Audio CD)

by Nile Stanley


Highly engaging poetry mini-lessons focusing on the "fab five" of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.


See this month's associated Reading Calendar (pdf)

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