Poems by Heart from Penguin Classics
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Poems by Heart focuses on memorizing and reciting classic poems. Although a few poems come free with the app, kids will have to purchase additional poems either individually or in sets. Before your kids buy a poem, you may want to make sure it fits the occasion and level. As kids begin to memorize poems, you also can encourage them to practice alone as well as with someone else around to offer constructive criticism. Although the app offers multiple activities to help kids learn, it fails to recognize whether they can actually recite the poem correctly -- that part may be up to you.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- presenting to others
Thinking & Reasoning
- work to achieve goals
- conveying messages effectively
- multiple forms of expression
Engagement, Approach, Support
Kids get to choose the poems they want to learn (especially if they upgrade), design is well-organized, and the option for male or female voices is a nice touch.
Kids can scale up with access to easy, medium, and hard poems, as well as use a system to help them memorize by filling in missing words.
The app lacks help files and extra resources but does offer additional poems for purchase and tracks kids' performance through the memorization process.
What's it about?
POEMS BY HEART FROM PENGUIN CLASSICS introduces kids to the art of poem memorization and recitation. It includes a few free poems for kids to learn, ranging in difficulty level. Kids start by hearing the poem read (they can choose a male or a female voice to do the reading). Kids then learn each poem in sections, completing an activity that has them fill in the missing words. As they correctly fill in words, the activity becomes more difficult, leaving out more and more words until kids fill in the entire poem themselves. After learning the poem, they have the opportunity to record themselves reading it line by line or all at once.
Is it any good?
In an age that encourages critical thinking and analysis, poem recitation and memorization may seem like a lost art. However, it may still benefit some kids or serve as an opportunity to help them learn poems to recite for special occasions. The app itself does a good job of helping kids memorize the poems, taking them line by line and increasing in difficulty as they learn more and more of each poem. However, simply memorizing the poem doesn't mean kids will understand it. Adding a brief analysis of each poem or even the opportunity to look up the definitions of words could help kids grasp a poem's meaning, which, in turn, could make memorizing easier.
Families can talk about...
Prepare a poem to perform at a holiday party or to mark another momentous occasion.
Families can talk about the meanings of the poems kids choose to recite. Are there any metaphors, similes, or words your kids aren't familiar with? Look them up!
If kids find a poem they like, encourage them to look up and read additional poems by the poet.