Can You Make Poetry More Appealing to GCSE Students?

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It’s fair to say that most GCSE students don’t enjoy studying poetry. In fact, very few of us ever read poetry in our spare time, so it can be tough to suddenly find yourself faced with the prospect of analysing and discussing it. However, poetry is certainly something your child will need to understand before taking their GCSEs. Luckily, getting into it isn’t as hard as you might think.

Here are just a few ways to make poetry more appealing.

Start with Something Simple

Plenty of teenagers read books, so the step from their favourites to John Steinbeck or Harper Lee isn’t too steep. However, few teenagers read poetry, and going from nothing to Tennyson or even Heaney can be a real challenge. To get your child used to the concept, start with something easy. A poem for children, such as something by Dr. Seuss might seem childish, but it serves as a foundation. Talk through how rhyming structures work and what kind of imagery is used.

Read with Rhythm

Poetry is written to be read aloud – unfortunately, few of us bother to develop the knack. Before you start working on the words themselves, try reading through the poem slowly together until you can recognize and work around its rhythm. This will make the poem easier to remember, more accessible, and easier to interpret. Your child will also be more confident if asked to read aloud in class.

Connect with Modern Music

Teenagers might not enjoy poetry, but most love their own music. Don’t try connecting the two too closely, but you can try drawing comparisons to see how they differ. You might even consider printing song lyrics and asking your child to read them aloud like a poem. They’ll then be more comfortable reading through and analysing older and heavier works of literature. If this idea proves popular, look online to find analyses of modern music, then compare the way music lyrics and poetry are analysed.

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