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Poetry in the early years foundation stage

Added 22 Sep 2022 | Updated 22 Sep 23

Teaching Poetry in Early Years (EYFS)

Why is poetry important in the early years?

Poetry is what in a poem makes you laugh, cry, prickle, be silent, makes your toenails twinkle, makes you want to do this or that or nothing…

Dylan Thomas
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Poetry in the EYFS curriculum

The statutory framework for the early years foundation stage and the reading framework: teaching the foundations of literacy, both frequently refer to poetry and highlight the importance of saying and learning poems in the early years.

This increased focus on poetry and the highlighting of the cross-curricular benefits of using it with early years children provides an exciting opportunity for you to explore different types of poetry. The resource Poetry in the EYFS looks closely at these frameworks and explores the use of poetry with early years children.

Questions discussed

  • Why is poetry important?
  • What does the new framework say?
  • Where can I find some support for my subject knowledge?
  • Which poems should I use?

Teaching poetry

Before embarking on a journey of early years poetry exploration, it may be useful for you to refresh and renew your approach to the teaching of poetry by taking a look at our Poetry lover's classroom resource.

Poetry Activity Plans

Visit our National Poetry Day resources page to find early years poetry activity plans linked to the 2023 theme of Refuge.

Additionally, you can download two poetry activity plans, including ideas and suggestions of how you can use poetry with young children, from the files below.

Although these plans refer to specific poems, many of the ideas could be easily adapted to suit other poems.

Poem 1: Rain Sizes by John Ciardi

Poem 2: To the Countryside by Joseph Coelho

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