7 Ways Poetry Enhances Early Literacy Skills

Exposing children to poetry early and often sets an important literacy foundation. Let’s explore why…

1. Poetry lays a strong foundation for reading.

Rhythm, rhyme, and sound are emphasized in poetry—all of which are foundational blocks for reading. Poems also contain important literary elements like characters and narrative structure.

2. Poetry teaches young readers about sound.

Pitch, inflection, and volume are important functions of both speech and reading. Rhyming can also help little learners identify the sounds in words and help them grasp phonetics.

3. Poetry helps develop strong recall and memory.

Notice how small children so eagerly memorize their favorite nursery rhymes and songs? The inherent musicality of poetry encourages the use of that same brain power.

4. Poetry builds vocabulary and word connections

Poetry is a great way to introduce kids to new words, particularly in contexts they may not have encountered before. This creates new connections between words in growing minds.

5. Poetry encourages creativity and language play.

Reading poetry (especially aloud) demonstrates how words can be manipulated. It also helps children tap into their own creativity as they come up with new relationships between words and sounds.

6. Poetry makes reading aloud more accessible.

Poems are often short, making them less intimidating to read aloud. The rhyme and rhythm help kids decode words, creating a more encouraging environment for early readers.

7. Poetry is just plain fun!

Books that make kids laugh and allow them to use their expansive imaginations are inviting to children of all ages . . . and more fun leads to more reading! 

Feeling inspired? Explore the Poetry Collection!