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[Teacher-talkwrite6to8] Teaching Poetry

From: Lindsay Ball <brynnsmom21_at_gmail.com_at_learner.org>
Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2016 19:33:34 +0900

Oh the dreaded poetry. Are there any middle school students who enjoy this
unit? The best advice given was that teachers need to submerge their
students with poetry. They should be reading it in the early days of
school. Poetry is difficult for students because of the words and emotions.
When they read it often, the mystique of poetry will be washed away. There
won't be as much resistance to poetry when it is an often seen part of the

I also liked the advice of mini lessons. I have given poetry elements and
rules in a rush to my students. I have pushed all of these terms that they
don't care about on to them. If I use mini lessons and give them the
techniques of writing poetry when they need it, I think I will get better
results. I have also given too many. Do my students need to know all of the
poetry devices? They have probably studied several of them before they get
to me. It is something to think about next time I teach poetry.

I really liked the Potatoes poem and guided assignment that Jack Wilde did
in his classroom. This is such a great way to get students to write poetry.
Models are very important to writing poetry. I know that most students
don't even know where to begin when it comes to this task. Wilde's activity
shows them exactly what they can do. Using the Potatoes poem as a template
is a perfect way to get them ready for their own poems. I have used William
Carlos Williams poem "This Is Just to Say" to guide my students into
writing poetry. I love this poem. It is simple yet can be applied to my
students personally. This is probably the one assignment that my students
do and share with enthusiasm. I need to remember this. It is probably the
poetry activity I do with a model that acts as a guide for their poetry

I think that I can handle the poetry writing with a guide. How do I get my
students to create their own poetry? This is where I see my students
stumbling and losing interest. Is it like other writing? Do I just need to
make sure it is personal enough for them? How do I get the emotion in them?
I realize that it's about creating a safe environment for them to write and
share. It's a little disappointing to realize that I haven't helped create
a community of writers in my classroom. I haven't made a safe enough
environment for my students to write and share.

Lindsay Ball
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Received on Fri Mar 11 2016 - 10:26:41 EST

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