Poetry in Primary Education

Liam G. Martin
2 min readFeb 10, 2020


Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

I believe poetry can be an invaluable tool in primary education. It allows the child to play with words, to have fun with them, to think of them much more dynamically than other forms of literature allow. Poetry can be something very meaningful and individual, but it can also be something very social, something a child can read aloud or share. There are numerous benefits to introducing a child to poetry, some of which I will list below:

In basic Language structures…

Poetry helps build phonemic and syllabic awareness, while also having the potential to enhance the child’s alphabetic principle, vocabulary, fluency, self-expression and writing skills.

In the comprehension of language…

Introducing a child to poetry at an early age could have a significant effect on enhancing a child’s reading capabilities and comprehension.

In how a child understands and uses language…

Poetry demands a much greater attention to detail than most other writing forms. It encourages the child to think about brevity and precision, especially in instances where the poem also has a set structure like a Haiku or Tanka. It can also introduce them to abstraction via the many different poetic effects like metaphor and simile.

…In Second Language acquisition

In nearly every language, there are rhythmic patterns and measures. Poetry provides a perfect staging ground where the reader can experiment with different rhythms, making it much easier to identify and imitate them when learning a new language.

But it has much more to give…

So far, I’ve only mentioned what poetry can offer in terms of language, but it can be incredibly useful in almost every aspect child’s early education. Ultimately it enhances their thinking skills and encourages them to make connections in their learning. An understanding of poetry can be of use in almost every subject across the curriculum, even in Maths.

It could also be extremely usefully in helping the child acquire social skills, and it may even prove useful to their psychological and mental well-being.

Anyone can read a poem…

Children’s poetry is one of the most accessible forms of literature there is. If a child is a struggling reader, a ten-lined poem appears much less daunting than a twenty-thousand-word book. There is also much less risk of alienation with a poem; if a child has a bad experience with a poem, then all they’ve lost is a few minutes and a less likely to be discouraged, if they have a bad experience with a book, they’ve lost a few days, maybe even a week.

I hope that in this post, I have proved just how important poetry can be.