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Rhythm for Reading Makes Better Writing


Never underestimate the power of rhyme for building reading and writing skill in a child. So much of our language is sound-based. The best writers "hear" what the words would sound like if read aloud. It helps them contain the length of their sentences. It helps them match the phrases they write to the approximate length of time it would take to say them aloud without taking a breath. Shakespeare was the master of this: his writing is just as melodious on paper as when spoken aloud.


The simple rhythms of childhood poetry set the groundwork for more complex rhythms in adult prose. The more you sing and rhyme with a small child, the better "ear" for reading and writing that child will develop.


As you work around your home or drive around in the car, challenge your child to create poetry with you. You say the first line: "I saw a car. . ." and the child might add, "I saw a car and it was far." And on you go!


It's fun to think up words that rhyme with other words and post a list on your refrigerator, adding to it as you go.


Ask a librarian to suggest children's poetry books to check out and bring home. You might keep a three-ring binder with photocopies of poems you like to read aloud from time to time, adding your child's own poems as he or she creates them.


Nothing beats reading the old nursery rhymes aloud to and with your child. Memorizing them is great! Singing them is even better! If your child acts them out while reciting them, that instills movement along with memorization and speaking aloud - a multisensory experience that will pay off in the years to come.



By Susan Darst Williams Grammar Granny 001 2006


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