Poetry encourages the word play that builds vocabulary and fluency. Writing poetry helps writers to find their individual writing voices. Reading and writing poetry teaches precise word choice. Poetry is fun—and involves students with language. Poetry offers concentrated, language-rich, quick-read texts that can augment any existing content lesson. Poetry is part of most learning standards and assessment testing in Communication Arts. Poetry builds students phonemic awareness and sense of rhythm in language. Mastery of language devices commonly found in poetry (such as repetition, internal rhyme, assonance, consonance, refrain, pattern, sequencing, active word choice, etc) empower students with the widest possible range of writing tools to execute all writing tasks.
Why Performance Poetry?
Performance poetry encourages repetition and memorization which enables even the most reluctant students to internalize language. Performance poetry allows students to move through progressively deeper levels of understanding, as they make meaning through direct authentic experience with the text. Through ensemble work and performer/audience interaction, performance poetry provides natural opportunities for collaboration, community building, and purposeful, student-centered learning. Performance poetry accommodates (and celebrates) multiple learning styles as defined by Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences. Performance poetry can be used as an alternative assessment tool to determine students’ competency and understanding (of vocabulary, meaning, context, or other specified concepts). Performance poetry allows even non-readers and emergent readers to successfully demonstrate a mastery of language and understanding of meaning.