Welcome to today’s tip in my month-long Poetry Tips for Teachers series.
Tip #21: Focus on sounds.
If a poem features repeated sounds in it, emphasize those sounds as you read it so that kids will pick up on the repetition.
In the poem below, for example, which I wrote for Ed DeCaria’s March Madness Poetry a couple of years ago, I might talk about how the long and short e sounds work. The long e has kind of a sly and evil sound that makes me think of the dragon, and, to a lesser degree, the short e words have a slightly breathy sound to them that supports the idea of breathing, sleeping, waking. So I would emphasize those two sounds as I read the poem.
And here I am reading it: