Workshop 3: Teaching Poetry
Key Practices To Observe in Workshop 3
In this workshop, you will see a number of effective teaching practices
intended to help students write poetry.
- Teachers affirm the importance of writing poetry by modeling that
they value poetry and by emphasizing that students are empowered as
poets. Students are led to recognize how poetry allows them to express
their own feelings and ideas creatively. The goal is not merely to
about poetry, nor is the goal merely to practice a poetic technique.
- A sense of community is evident in the classes. Students collaborate,
express themselves, and clearly feel comfortable and safe in conveying
their ideas and feelings, as well as in responding to their classmates'
work. Respect for learning and for learners is evident.
- Reading and response to reading are demonstrated as key teaching practices
in helping students develop as writers. Teachers provide models of poems
so that students can develop a sense of how other poets work, and students
apply what they learn in writing their own poems. Teachers use poems
written by others as a stimulus for their students' own poems.
- The teachers ensure that students are active. The children read and
respond to models and to their own drafts. They engage in quick writes,
share aloud, analyze poems, talk about techniques, respond to questions,
and write notes to each other about what they have written. The teachers
make sure that many students are involved in the conversations about
writing. The classroom is not merely a forum for the teacher to talk
- Teachers are intentional and systematic in their practices, including
focused and well organized mini-lessons on poetry. The lessons are
sharply focused on important poetic techniques, the "tools" of
a poet. The lessons include time for students to apply what they have
- Teachers arrange for students to have useful resources as writers:
lists of criteria, models, quick writes, annotated samples, and "tips"
- Teachers respond to students and provide a structure for students
to respond to each other orally and in writing.