Place of Poems in Teaching Kids
Anthony M. Wanjohi
Poetry is as old as humanity; it is a form of literary art which uses various aspects of language (aesthetic and rhythmic) to bring about meaning. It has been used by people of all ages – from Greek's Odyssey to Indian Vedas. Today, poetry forms a key tool of teaching and learning process; it is used not only at elementary level but also at secondary and tertiary levels. This article explores the role of poems in teaching children.
Building children's vocabulary - Poems are used to build children's vocabulary. This enables them to feel proud of themselves as they are able to express themselves. Their confidence is also developed as they can express their feelings, ideas and views, which in turn help them to develop leadership and competence skills. Speaking and listening are always inseparable hence the children listening skill is improved through citation of poems which take the form of songs.
Introducing and concluding a lesson - Poems can be used by the teacher to introduce a lesson as well as concluding to enable the children understand what they have learnt. Poems can be used to make the transition from one activity to another smoothly, and for introducing a new theme or topic. This enables the children to master the concept.
Teaching responsibilities and self-care - It is through poems that children are able to relate what they do from the time they wake up till the time they go to school. Thus poems can be used to teach responsibilities and self care skills.
In entertainment - Poems can be used as a form of entertainment thus making children enjoy and relax especially when bored. It is also a way to improve the children memory as it helps them remember what they have learnt. Through poems, children learn about the environment and their surroundings, people, plants, animals, buildings hence enabling them to appreciate and care for it.
Poems teach about God and creation - Though poems and memory verses, the children are able to learn about the supernatural power and creation. They are also used to teach certain moral lessons.
Poems make the class and learning lively - Poems play a crucial role in arousing the interest of children and thus making the children alert and enjoy learning. Poems also foster socialization and interaction among the children.
Expressing feelings and emotions - Poems help the children express their feelings and emotions, pass information and / or message and warn about something. They help towards molding children for their future social role; stimulate their imaginations and body movements.
For appreciation and respect of cultural heritage - Poems help children learn about their own and other people's culture thus respecting and appreciating them.
Developing children's self assurance and confidence - Poems help children develop self assurance in reciting a poem before others. Since poems are accompanied by actions and movements, the listeners are able to follow and this creates some sense of confidence in the kid poet.
Poetry in general has a critical role to play in teaching and learning process. Parents, teachers and caregivers are encouraged to find value in teaching young ones through poems. The poets and writers are also called upon to venture more in children's poems at a time when the traditional norms and value systems that had a place for grandees in children's development process have fallen apart. There is nothing as dignifying before God and man as developing the potentials of the young ones.