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Apr 292014

Are you or your students poets, and do they know it? The month of April is National Poetry Month. The Academy of American Poets set this month aside in 1996 to highlight, encourage, and focus on reading and writing poetry. What better time to attempt new ways to integrate poetry into your therapy session? The following are some ideas that will help your student who struggles with the ability to rhyme as well as encourage a love for poetry. 

  1. Infuse poetry in every technique possibly within your sessions.  Encourage and use different styles of poetry to help your students understand that not all poems rhyme or are silly.
  2. Don’t be afraid to be silly.  Shel Silverstein has some hilarious poems and poetry story books.  Not every reading has to be serious.
  3. Dictation and Copy: find an appropriate length poem to have your student listen to and copy.  Instead of having them state the main idea, or add a paragraph, have them add a line or stanza to the poem.  Depending on the style of poetry chosen, the student could really get creative.
  4. Listen My Children: Choose a stanza or short poem to use in this technique.  Break longer poems into smaller sections to do over a few sessions.
  5. Oral Reading: Highlight a good poet for your student to read.  Better yet, choose several good poets and compare and contrast them.  Create organizational tools to see the different types of poetry read, and poetry styles.
  6. Rhythmic Writing: Say an easy word to rhyme with and have your student come up with a rhyming word while doing the different 8’s.
  7. Grammar: Use poems as the base of highlighting parts of speech.  When your student is creating their own sentence, also have them model the poetry style of the original sentence (s).
  8. Above Level Reading: Choose more serious, or ambiguous poems to highlight the area that your student needs to focus on.
  9. Memory Cards: Choose words for the Blue Book pattern or review that you are focusing on, but then have the student come up with rhyming words for each card.  Another idea: Choose or create words that rhyme for the technique.  You could even choose the rhyming words out of the poems that you use for Dictation and Copy or Listen My Children to reinforce the words they may have or will be seeing later in the session.
  10. Model for your students appreciation, fun, and respect for poetry and they will be more willing to explore with it too.