Thinking back I don’t really have any vivid memories of being read poetry at school, especially in Primary Schools. I remember poetry being introduced nearer my GCSE’s and I was mainly interested in rhyming poems. I remember often sitting wondering at how individuals could take so much from poetry and was often puzzled at how they could do this as I myself just read the poem as it was written. I believe the creativity in poetry is mesmerizing at times and how metaphors, similes and different language is used is good for helping individuals think outside the box and help with their imagination skills.
I can see the merits for children learning a poem by heart. It provides opportunities for the development of speaking and listening skills and allows for the interpretation of rhythm and rhyme through performance poetry. However, I feel for children to appreciate and interact with poetry, recitation by memory is not essential and may be challenging for some.
During PP3 I was fortunate enough to teach the Poetry unit although it was not what I had first thought. Instead of teaching poetry as I had remembered there was a stronger emphasis towards teaching children how to be creative with words and phrases to create Kennings, Calligrams, Riddles and Acrostic poems and then moving on to word searches and crosswords. The lessons were fun, engaging and children enjoyed the creative element associated with the specific topics. I feel that before this placement I had a completely different view on poetry in Primary Schools and was clueless about some of these topics, however I now feel better equipped to teach poetry in an enjoyable and successful way.
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Through my observations it was apparent that the class teacher was an enthusiastic reader and in addition to the guided read my class had ‘Charlie and The Chocolate Factory’ which was read throughout the term in spare 10minute slots. The terms topic was geared towards Chocolate and the class had a trip to Cadburys World planned for the end of term which was why that particular book was chosen. During these periods of whole class reading each table would read a line then it would move on to the next table with the teacher guiding and stepping in accordingly. I feel this was a good method to use at it enabled children to learn from each other and realize what makes a good reader.
On the timetable there was a weekly library session in which children could take out a book of their choice to use and read at home or in there free time. My teacher always encouraged children to have a book available to them at home which they found interesting in order to try and encourage as much reading as possible. The idea of allowing the children to choose a book they liked was that if they were interested in a topic or a book then they would be likely to pick it up more often.
The classroom had a designated reading area which provided an inspiring and secure environment for reading, which the children enjoyed using. There was a small selection of books to read in the classroom; however the range of books used for guided and home reading was extensive and included a variety of genres.