November 12, 2022

4 Wonderful Tips for Memorizing Poetry


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Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? It’s the perfect time to start memorizing poetry in your homeschool.

Book to Read

Looking for some good books to read in your homeschool? Here are some fantastic free printable lists of books by grade:


Tips for Memorizing Poetry

1. Choose a Fun Poem

Choose a fun poem to memorize. A poem that fits the season such as Christina G. Rossetti’s Who Has Seen the Wind is always a great choice.

My children and I adore reciting The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsay. We include hand motions such as snapping with our fingers or swimming with our hands.

2. Ensure Comprehension

Kids don’t always understand every word in the poetry we choose, as kids tend to miss symbols and obscure meanings.

For instance in “The Little Turtle”, the poem mentions the turtle living in a box. What exactly does that mean? An older child will understand, but young preschoolers and elementary kids won’t catch that Vachel Lindsay is referring to the shell.

However it’s easier to memorize poetry that we understand, so make certain you spend a few minutes discussing the poem. Make certain your children understand what the poem is about.

3. Recite the Poem Multiple Times

Find good times to recite the poem every day. Chant it 4 or 5 times before you eat. Recite it together in the car as you travel from activity to activity.

Perhaps it works better for your family to say the poem several times before you start the school day and as you’re finishing the day.

It takes quite a few repetitions to learn a poem by heart, and then several weeks for the poem to work it’s way into long term memory. Give the poem the time it needs to be learned and recited by heart. Don’t hurry the process.

4. Use the Poem as Copy Work

Writing out the poem is an excellent method to memorize it. Have your children practice copying the poem every day. If it’s a long poem, simply assign one or two stanzas at a sitting, but don’t expect pages of writing from a young child.

Once the poem is memorized, have your child attempt to write it by dictation. Dictation is a wonderful way to apply spelling and grammar lessons.

When poem is memorized, encourage your children to recite it to family and friends. After all recitations are a wonderful way to involve grandparents in your homeschool.

What is your favorite poem to memorize?

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