Critical thinking and metacognition are two concepts that have played an increasingly important role in education and have been the focus of a substantial body of research related to the skill of Reading (Mohseni, Seifoori & Ahangari, 2020; Navarro, 2021). Poetry, on the other hand, though much discussed and analyzed as a genre, has not been adequately explored as a tool used to foster the development of critical thinking skills and metacognitive reading strategies among Young Learners. The present article attempts to show that the teaching of poetry can have a positive effect not only on Young Learners’ critical thinking and use of metacognitive reading strategies, but on their reading comprehension as well. This is demonstrated through the presentation of a poetry project implemented with 16 students, another 16 being assigned to a control group, in a primary education EFL context, over a three-month period and through analyzing learners’ performance and attitudes prior to and after implementation. The results reveal that there is indeed a statistically confirmed advantage in the experimental group learners’ critical thinking, use of metacognitive reading strategies, as well as reading comprehension.
Key Words: Critical Thinking, Metacognitive reading strategies, Reading Comprehension, Poetry, Young Learners