Today is World Poetry Day

“Poetry is a window onto the breath-taking diversity of humanity.” — Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General

World Poetry Day is a celebration of our favourite poets and poems, and reminds us of the wondrous importance poetry has in child development.

Reading poetry aloud helps children develop an awareness of the sounds of words through rhyme, rhythm and repetition. Other language and linguistic techniques such as imagery and metaphor bring stories to life in the mind of a child. These images and rhymes can help children learn new words, become stronger readers and extend their vocabulary.

Words and phrases are often used in slightly different ways in poetry, allowing children to engage with language in a way that’s different to prosaic text.

These days, poetry struggles to find it’s place in a primary school classroom. However, poetry is fundamental in learning vocal expression and reading aloud. Poetry plays a key role in our signature Voice and Acting™ classes at Viva Voice.

If you’re looking for a poem to read today, our students love the poems in Roald Dahl’s “Revolting Rhymes”, Annette Kosseris’ “Giggles and Woes and Anything Goes”, and Shel Silverstein’s “Every Thing On It”.

Here’s a poem to celebrate:

I Wish I Was Normal

I don’t want to go into school today; Mum,
I don’t feel like school work today.
Oh, don’t make me go to school today, Mum
Oh, please let me stay home and play.

But you must go to school, my cherub, my lamb,
If you don’t it will be a disaster,
How would they manage without you, my sweet,
After all you are the headmaster!

‘I Wish I Was Normal’ from Colin McNaughton’s “There’s an Awful Lot of Weirdos in Our Neighbourhood” (1987)