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Reading Poetry Aloud

Model the reading of poetry so your students can learn to read it for themselves. Here are some tips to assist you to present poetry reading successfully:

Read it to yourself first. Consider the meaning, language, rhythm and other features of the poem that you will highlight in your reading.
• Convey the meaning of the poem with your voice.
• Allow the students to hear the poem first before they see it.
• Avoid long elaborate introductions. Give them the title and the name of the poet.
• Let the tone of your voice convey the mood.
• Let the language convey the rhythm.
• Each word of the poem is important. Savor them.
• Use your voice as a tool- whisper where appropriate, Shout if necessary, stretch words for effect!
• Employ multiple readings of the poem.
• Invite short discussion rather than long analysis. Don’t dissect each line, don’t be a lint picker!

• Avoid follow up activities for every poem. It isn’t necessary! A brief discussion, or a partner share are acceptable responses.

Students immersed in the animated reading of poetry will eventually write better poetry when it is their turn. They will also be more inclined to develop an appreciation of poetry.


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