At the preschool age you can share your love of language and literature by reading poetry out loud to your child/ren. You will enthuse their interest in poetry if you yourself are enthusiastic and interested in it. As it states in my Montessori training manual: "Assess yourself and your attitude. Remember, the child who is still in the absorbent state of mind [from birth to six] absorbs your attitudes.You are not just giving concrete experiences [by reading poetry], you are giving children exposure and a love for [poetry], which they will study, in depth, later on."
Then, when the child is reading comprehensively (by third grade or age eight) you can introduce the poetry basket. But first, let me review the several levels to reading (quoted from my Montessori training manual).
"First comes the mechanical part which is to recognize the symbol, translate it into sounds and then to connect those sounds into a word. This is not comprehensive reading. Comprehensive reading has a second part which is interpretive reading. We need to understand the sentiment, the feeling, and the ideas the person has written about. The third point of comprehensive reading is the appreciation of the beauty of the syntax, the style, the arrangement of words, sentences, and paragraphs [this is where reading poetry out loud can play an important role]. We have to keep the unity of these three parts of reading in mind. The simple words of three letters which enable the child to read should be extended to longer words and phrases which makes her understand the definitions of the cultural subjects but then immediately keep in mind to read to the child and have available to him books of good literature [including poetry]."
Here is a helpful time line of the Montessori reading activities and materials:
Continue reading this post in my Read and Write the Montessori Way PDF, which includes access to my on-line language photo galleries and more!
You may also be interested in my recommended Montessori and homeschool books for parents and teachers on Amazon.com or my Montessori and homeschool programs at Montessori for the Earth!