First of all, what are phonics poems?
They’re simply poems that can be used as good examples (exemplars) to teach specific phonics skills.
Why use phonics poems for teaching reading?
1. Phonics poems provide an efficient use of short instructional time:
As a reading intervention teacher, I typically had between 15-20 minutes to work with my students, so all of my lessons needed to be quick and highly targeted. I’ve been a poem lover and collector for years, but it was really out of necessity that I started writing short poems embedded with targeted skills.
2. Phonics poems target specific skills:
Phonics poems are embedded with specific skills, such as short vowels, digraphs, blends and so on to make teaching the skill most effective in a class mini-lesson. These short poems are meant to be targeted teaching texts, leading students directly to an ah-ha moment of understanding.
3. Phonics poems teach skills in context, not in isolation:
Rather than teaching students phonics skills in isolation (like a fill-in-the-blank-worksheet), phonics poems actually SHOW students a phonics sound within the context of real reading. That’s the whole point of phonics instruction.
4. Phonics poems build other literacy skills simultaneously.
Phonics skills help students improve their decoding skills. Some people call this sounding out words, or word attack skills. Really it’s learning how to problem solve words. The great thing about phonics poems is that they may target decoding skills, but they benefit several other facets of reading as well. Because phonics poems are real text, a student is often building vocabulary, fluency and comprehension skills simultaneously.
5. Phonics poems build reading confidence in new readers.
Early readers and reluctant readers can often master reading short phonics poems quickly. There is simply nothing like successful reading to build reading confidence.
Teaching phonics can be fun…really!
Want even MORE phonics poems? Check out The BIG Phonics Poetry Anthology.