Document Type

Graduate Project

Date of Degree Completion

Summer 1998

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)



Committee Chair

Gail Goss

Second Committee Member

Nancy E. Jurenka

Third Committee Member

David N. Shorr


This project examined the role of poetry in language development and literacy acquisition in children. The review of current literature strongly supported the rationale for providing poetry experiences beginning at an early age and continuing on through the first few years of school. All stages of language development benefit from exposure to rhythm and rhyme. Poetry can be there to bridge the gap as young children speak their first words, read their first book and write their first sentence. Included is a poetry curriculum centering on the theme of Playground Rhymes. It was specifically written for primary teachers. The research based activities provide children with experience at all levels of language development including oral, phonological awareness, reading, writing, and spelling.