My name is Erika Ward. I am currently finishing my Bachelor of Education at Queen’s University and I am enrolled in the Literacy in Elementary School concentration.
For my alternative practicum, I have researched, created, and curated content relating to teaching poetry in elementary school for primary and junior classrooms (Grades K-6). I believe that poetry is an invaluable and essential tool for not only developing early literacy skills, but also for motivating students to foster a love of reading and writing. Teaching poetry touches on everything literacy related from early phonemic and phonological skills to fluency and comprehension competences. Plus, children love poetry – it is why we see students singing, playing with nursery rhymes, and remembering poetic verses with ease!
In this Teaching Poetry section, I have curated three grade-specific “Teaching Poetry” guides for kindergarten, the primary grades (1-3), and the junior grades (4-6), respectively. These guides provide an overview of key poetry areas and concepts to teach, connections to the Ontario Curriculum for Language (2006) and the Kindergarten Program (2016), cross-curricular poetry ideas and texts, lesson plan resources, activity suggestions, and poetry books to use in the classroom (many available at the Education Library). In addition to the guides, I have also created and curated individual lesson plans for a selection of poetry anthologies and books that offer instructional tactics, lesson activities, and additional resources for the specific mentor texts. Poetry is an amazing area of language to which children naturally gravitate. Open the world of poetry for your students and see where their creativity takes them – they will surely surprise you!