Shared Poetry Reading: Teaching Print Concepts, Rhyme, and Vocabulary

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Lesson Introduction: 

Although phonological awareness is important for early reading comprehension, other skills are equally important as students develop their reading abilities. Designed to facilitate successful early reading for kindergarten students, this lesson teaches the acquisition of vocabulary, one-to-one matching, left-to-right directionality, and awareness of rhyme. Students study these important aspects of reading using a shared exploration of a poem that includes peer interaction, hands-on experience with print, and a collaborative examination of new and familiar words.

Learning Objectives: 

In this lesson, students will have opportunities to:

  • Learn about important concepts of print including left-to-right directionality and one-to-one matching by talking about where they should begin reading a poem and watching spoken words matched to print during read-alouds of the poem.
  • Demonstrate word recognition critical to reading comprehension by matching words to print as they are being read and by identifying familiar words in a poem.
  • Demonstrate understanding of rhyming words by identifying and discussing them in a nursery rhyme and creating a list of words that rhyme with key rhyming words from the text.
  • Practice acquiring and using new vocabulary by identifying an unfamiliar word, discussing it, and using it to create a predictable class book.
Materials and Resources: 

To teach this lesson, you will need:

  • chart paper
  • computers with Internet access
  • highlight tape
  • highlighters
  • pointer
  • white board with marker


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Poetry In Voice is a charitable organization that encourages Canadian students to fall in love with poetry through reading, writing, and recitation. All of our resources are available online for free. You may also use our resources if you reside outside of Canada.