Category Archives: Vocabulary Practice

Poetry at Home

Does your family read poetry at home? Poetry, one of the forms of literature studied in school, can be fun and exciting to read. Support your child’s poetry learning by reading poetry yourself and sharing poems with your child.

Common Core Standard

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.5¬†Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter) and drama (e.g., casts of characters, settings, descriptions, dialogue, stage directions) when writing or speaking about a text. (from


  • Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein
  • Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost, Gary D. Schmidt and Susan Jeffers
  • Poetry for Young People: Emily Dickenson, Francis Schoonmaker Bolin
  • Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes, David Roessel, Arnold Rampersad, Benny Andrews
  • Poems to Learn by Heart, Caroline Kennedy, Jon J. Muth

Poetry Vocabulary to Review

poem, rhyme, rhythm, alliteration, onomatopoeia, imagery, refrain, verse, free verse, blank verse, stanza, theme


  1. Poetry Week. As a family read one poem a week during dinner. Take turns selecting a favorite poem. Read it and discuss what it means together. Share opinions and offer interpretations.
  2. Night Time Reading. Once a week, substitute your regular night time picture book with a book of poems for children. Read the poems and talk about what they mean.
  3. Family Poem. Write your own family poem. Take a familiar poem and keep the basic structure. Change the words to describe your family or a shared adventure. One suggestion is to use the familiar poem “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” You can also complete this activity with a favorite song.
  4. Poetry and Songs. Don’t forget that some of our favorite poems are set to music! Pay attention to the lyrics of a song together and find four poetry vocabulary words that apply.
  5. Favorite Poems Book. Have every member of the family pick a favorite poem. Write it out and illustrate it. Compile the poems and the illustrations into a book.
  6. Memorize a Poem. After each family member memorizes a favorite poem, have a poetry reading. Serve snacks and create a stage somewhere in your house. Take turns giving a dramatic presentation of the poem.

Vocabulary Practice

One of the best ways parents can support learning at home is to practice vocabulary words. Find a time when everyone is together and try to regularly add vocabulary enhancement to your routine. You can do this at breakfast, while preparing dinner, during your bedtime routine, or while in the car. Anyone can generate words, the key is to think them through.

To find words, you can use a vocabulary calendar, use lists generated by the school, or ask your child to write down any words that confuse them during the day. You can even reward your child for finding difficult words and bringing them to the table for discussion!

1. Discuss the definition. What does the word mean and what does it not mean! Discuss similar words and words that mean the opposite!

2. Try to use the word in as many sentences as you can. Then, try to use the word incorrectly and talk about why it is incorrect! Have fun with this and be as silly as you can!

3. Connect. Try to find ways that the word can be used. Discuss who might use the word on a daily basis. Discuss professions that use the word. Connect the world to places, people, and professions.

4. Analyze. Discuss the parts of the word. Discuss words that are similar and have similar and different meanings. Discuss prefixes and suffixes. Talk about how the word can help you in specific situations.

5. Do something else with the word. Draw it, act it out, sing it, chant it, write a poem with it!