News & Press Archive
Reasons Why Kids Should Read Poetry
Kids, like you, just want to relate to something. They want to be seen. They need literature and language that speaks to them.
Here’s how poetry can change your life–and your kid’s life for the better:
1. Learn use of language. You literally master how you speak and write, because everything counts in poetry–and you’ll pay attention to the small things, which brings me to point #2:
2. Attention to detail. Whether it’s remembering that soccer game, math homework, or what ice cream flavor someone likes, learning to pay attention to the small things is a skill forever useful in life.
3. Empathy and nuance. Reading poetry, and encouraging students to write poetry, helps develop trust, vulnerability, compassion, and empathy. They can learn to see others’ perspectives while also understanding their own emotions–and how to deal with them.
4. Articulate emotions and feelings as therapy, gaining a sense of identity. All kids struggle and deal with some kind of personal issue, whether it’s an argument with a friend or parent, or dealing with low confidence. That’s why learning to use words as a form of therapy is helpful. Of course, writing doesn’t replace clinical therapy, but it’s cathartic and therapeutic. It also gives kids agency, allows them foster an identity, and develop independence.
5. Analyzation skills improve. Having to pick apart the different facets of a poem means that critical thinking skills are automatically being improved and developed. Every aspect of life needs this skill. And honestly, you learn grammar better if you’re actively engaging with it more, which poetry does–and that helps someone learn how to read.
6. Creativity. Even if your kid doesn’t love art, it’s always important to think outside of the box and challenge your imagination–and I mean, if you’ve ever read Robert Frost, you know good poems do this.
7. Generosity for oneself and others. Learning to grasp and empathize with different perspectives also enables someone to become more generous and diplomatic–and we all need a little more goodness in the world.
- Speech and drama improves your public speaking skills. Forcing yourself to speak in front of people will help you get better at it! Volume, enunciation, pitch, inflection – they come in handy in a professional setting.
- You learn the value of teamwork. In a Drama environment, you learn to compromise and collaborate with many different kinds of people. Drama and Theatre people know — every individual is valuable, not just the stars.
- You’ll gain confidence. The Drama environment is unique in that it supports and encourages participants to be weird and try new things, even if you make a fool of yourself. Learning to shed your ego is a skill few people are willing to commit to in the real world. You will find more success when you are conditioned to embarrass yourself a little to find it.
- It is a surefire way of gaining reading skills. The great thing about Drama is that one piece of text can be interpreted in infinite ways. You will find new ways to approach analysis because you get to act it out instead of just reading it at a desk. Not to mention, there’s nothing like “have this memorised by next week” that will force you to improve your reading skills fast.
- You’ll gain a higher appreciation of the written (and spoken) word. Theatre has informed culture all over the world throughout history. Studying it exposes you to many great works of literature and ideas you may not otherwise encounter. Even if you don’t end up pursuing it for the rest of your life, there are few directions in life you can take that haven’t been influenced by the artform.
- Your memorisation skills will be on point. It’s a lot more than just remembering words and actions. The memorisation tricks you teach yourself, and the way you learn to multitask on stage can inform the ways you study, work, and organize your mind later on in life.
To enrol your child for our speech & drama classes or our summer camps, contact the Betty Ann Norton Theatre School by clicking here