Let’s be VERBAL!

Why are poems so important to language development?

Poetry is music and movement.  It is rhythm and beats.  Children, young children, may not understand all the words and meanings inferred in a poem, but they will feel the movement of the words and be drawn into the language – which is what you want.  Poetry is the most kinesthetic of literature forms because it moves the reader.   Listening is a critical skill needed to become fluent readers and writers.   Poetry is an excellent tool to enhance listening skills.

Give your children a brain-challenge.  Help them to grow a strong memory.   Enjoy this poem Mary Kline wrote in honor of Library Lion, just for you!  Print it out; memorize it together.  Or just have your child practice reading it with great expression and inflection.

Majestic Lion
by Mary Byrne Kline

Majestic lion wakes and rises,
Ready for the day’s surprises.
Furry cubs gather round to play,
Excited for another day.

Soon they’re nipping at his mane,
As gently falls the summer rain.
At days end, a glorious sunset beams,
Sweet dreams, dear lion, sweet dreams.

And now for your listening pleasure…a few of our young Chasing Fireflies followers reading, Majestic Lion.
Thank you to ALL of you who sent us your readings (continue to send them in!).  This is just a sampling from our amazing young verbal communicators.  [I’ll tell you what – there is just nothing sweeter than a child’s voice…]

Sierra [age 7]

Emma [2nd Grade]

Mariah [3rd Grade]


Here’s a favorite book of poetry I have on my poetry library shelf.  I encourage you to purchase one for your own home library.


Readers Theatre
a favorite Verbal Communication experience!

Maybe you have several children at home or you teach a classroom of children and are interested in having them participate in a simple Readers Theater activity.   Here is one  that basically writes itself.   Once you get the hang of creating your own Readers Theatre, you can customize a script for your group of students – easily.   After reading one of the books from our BOOK LIST read aloud the following poem by Emily Dickinson (page 44 of the book shown above) and then present the Readers Theatre.

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.

This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!

Since there are no costumes, props, etc. make sure that children work on presentation:  inflection and speed.  If you have older students, add more to the script to make it more challenging – for instance, why not embed the poem by Emily Dickinson into the script?

Remember, the purpose is to grow a child’s confidence in the area of verbal communications.  Simple scripts and/or readers theatre, where children read the scripts and stay in place, are tools used in the beginning of the communication skills process.   If you choose to have children memorize something, have them recite it together in the early grades.   Putting a shy child in front of a microphone all by themselves without the comfort of their peers may prove disastrous.   Take time to grow, nurture and cheer on your young speakers.

Simple Readers Theatre Script

Next we will be focusing on our young authorsPrint Communications.

Deni Corbett

Share your thoughts...