What about poems?
GROUP 1. Students who like poems.
– Enjoy the sounds of the Estonian language, the singing rhythm and flowing rhymes of poetry.
– Read poems using different voices: happy, sad, whispering etc.
– Learn your favorite poems by heart. Read them to your partner, friends, and kids around you.
GROUP 2. Students who don’t like poems.
– Write a poem in your notebook (not computer) as a regular text. Forget that it’s a poem.
– Imagine you are reading a newspaper or novel.
– Learn the shorter ones by heart as simple sentences.
THE FOLLOWING ARE SUITABLE FOR BOTH GROUPS:
– Think about why the authors have chosen this poem and why it’s on this particular page.
– Find familiar words, look all unknown words up in a dictionary.
– Identify all familar grammar issues.
– Identify what words and expressions are useful in everyday situations.
– In essays, use a couple of relevant words or expressions from poems.
– If you don’t understand the idea of a poem, ask your teacher or Estonian friend.
– Write a short or long story based on a poem.
EXAMPLES OF USEFUL THINGS POEMS CAN TEACH YOU:
Väike konn, väike konn,
ütle, kus su kodu on.
– These two short lines teach you two very important and at this point of your studies, quite complicated words: väike and ütlema.
Väiksed konnad, väiksed konnad,
öelge, kus te kodud on.
– Here it comes: väike, väiksed (parallel form väikesed)
– ütlema – ütelda/öelda (an exceptional verb with two second infinitives) which also has two different forms for imperatives. At first, nobody is able to figure out that ütle! – öelge! is the same word and this little poem helps you to remember this.
– Especially good for polishing your pronunciation of long vowels (vaata, nüüd).
– Demonstrates the meaning of nüüd vs praegu (nüüd = change of state, location etc).
– Helps to remember pronouns that are ever so complicated for beginners: minul on, mina, minu.
– Teaches important and useful postpositions all and peal.
– And again: mul on, sul on
Little joyful poems about jänes, vihm, lumemees also teach lots of useful vocabulary.
Päikesekiir nagu hiir
tekil ja väikesel
– It may look like an insignificant or childish poem but it includes new and very useful words (jooksma, lina, tekk, unine) important for everyday use.
– In addition, ahaa, if you hadn’t noticed the similarity earlier (päike – päikese, väike – väikese), you should really see it by now.
kähku-kähku valmis tee.
– Teaches irregular and rare forms: vesi – vee – vett (of course, you will find and remember the third form, too (same: mesi, mee, mett).
– Draws your attention to two different meanings of tee.
– Teaches you a colloquial word kähku as a common synonym for kiiresti.
And all of this in one sentence.
ALSO, IT’S WORTH REMEMBERING:
– Every poem you find in the textbook is very carefully selected. It took considerable effort and time from the authors to find examples of authentic Estonian literature comprehensible for learners at your language level. You wouldn’t be able to read prose texts at this point.
– The aim of presenting poems in the textbook is not to annoy students. Apart from teaching you new vocabulary, poetry is a unique chance for a beginning language learner to get to know Estonian literature and also bring some fun to pages full of “boring” and sometimes overly-complicated grammar.
– And last, but not least, if you communicate with Estonian kids, you will definitely earn some extra points if performing a couple of poems you learned from this textbook.