Thursday, October 24, 2013

Language Development and Poetry

As some of you may know, I am expecting my first baby (It's a BOY!) and will be taking some time off from work and blogging before and after his arrival. During that time, there will be several guest bloggers/SLPs that will be featured on my blog. I am so excited to share all of the amazing, informative posts they have come up with. I can not thank them all enough for taking the time to write these posts! Just another one of the many reasons I love being part of the SLP world. I hope you all enjoy reading everything over the next several weeks. Please feel free to leave comments and post questions.
The next guest post is written by Maureen at The Speech Bubble! Enjoy!

We remember the nursery rhymes and songs, we all had our favorites that we would sing or hum over and over. I was 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" fan. We didn't know it then but those rhymes and songs were helping our language development. Rhyming is an early phonological awareness skill children use to distinguish units of speech. Recognizing rhymes is crucial to reading development ( Sigal ) and poetry can help readers develop a broad range of fluency skills ( Robertson ) as well. Exposing our students to these literary elements is an important part of their language development and can be areas in which they struggle.

So what can we do?

1) Rhyming: Depending on the students age write words on note cards or print out pictures. Have the student choose a word or picture and ask them to state another word that rhymes. Remind them that a rhyming word will have the same vowel sound and ending sound as the word they chose. Reading stories from the Dr. Sues series or the ' There was an Old Lady who swallowed a ..." is a fun way to introduce rhyming to your students. Allowing students to put their rhyming words into programs like Wordle or Tagxedo is a fun way to let them see their words.

2) Poetry: Read some examples of poetry with your students. Classic nursery rhymes are a great place to start. Also a quick Google search for 'children's poetry' will turn up some great resources as well. is a website with lots of fun, kid friendly poems. Have your students find the rhyming words in the poems by highlighting them. After your students have gotten some rhyming experience in poetry, have them start to create their own poems using their rhyming words. Let them use your poetry examples as models. A fun activity would be let your students create their own poetry books!  

Resources Used: Build Your Childs Skills Kindergarten to Second Grade by DeAnne Owre and Martha Brennan Encouraging Rhymning Skills ( ASHAsphere blog post by Stephanie Sigal) Connecting Reading Fluency and Oral Language for Student Success by Shari Robertson

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