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We asked our Teacher Trailblazers for their top tips for teaching poetry. removes the pressure – after all, no one can write a masterpiece in eight minutes. Engaging students with witty, short poems is just as relevant as exposing them to . Don't Be Yourself Children can find it difficult to express themselves in poetry from.
Table of contents
- Eight Steps for Teaching Kids Poetry
- Got Poetry? How to Teach Poems All Year
- Teaching Kids Poetry
- How can you teach poetry all year? Do you have time?
- Teaching Students to Comprehend Poetry in 7 Steps
Use props to engage all the senses. Create poetry bookmarks which you can give out during poetry week. Open their eyes to what poetry actually is. Many students will recognise rap and grime and find this accessible. The same applies to song lyrics. Give them the current number one with the title missing and read it aloud as a poem.
Eight Steps for Teaching Kids Poetry
Be honest yourself and be prepared to share your tastes with the students. Hold a poetry reading during lunchtime and invite staff members and students to read aloud their favourite poems. Get them to say why this poem is their favourite. Teachers always say how easy it is to write a poem, so complete the task with your students and be the first to share.
Use poetry to get to know your students. The first thing I ask my Year 7 class to do is write a Furniture Poem about themselves. It gives you a real insight into the new students in front of you and allows them to see more than one side of you if you take part too. Use poetry in every scheme of work. Haikus are great for focusing descriptions, and a villanelle in the voice of Ophelia, for example, develops an insightful understanding of the character.
Start or finish the lesson with a poem that has recently caught your attention and explain to the students why.
Got Poetry? How to Teach Poems All Year
I always find that standing at the front and performing poetry engages the students and they see it as fun and entertaining. Use vibrant images to put alongside them and soon enough, you will find people reading them and commenting on them. You could create a space for comments; naming the poems they like and why. When students see people praising their work, they will enjoy the success and it will encourage them. This is particularly helpful if your students find it hard to think creatively.
Often, I display an image on the board. Encourage students to mind-map words, feelings and emotions the images create and when they have a page of effective vocabulary, the thought of writing poetry becomes less daunting. Additionally, use objects that the students can touch and smell and encourage them to focus on the senses.
Create a certain atmosphere. Try playing music and soft sounds in the classroom. I often play music when the students enter and they immediately engage with their surroundings. When writing poems with themes of nature, play sounds from forests, the sea etc. Get the students to close their eyes and put their head on the desk and allow them to listen carefully. They become more involved and often, effective phrases and vocabulary come to their minds and they become excited by this.
Be passionate at all times! Students thrive off your passion. If you are keen and excited by the words that you read — they will too! Introduce poems that have interesting structures and explore the reasons behind enjambment, caesura and the forms they are written in. I use a bell that students ring for every punctuation mark when I read the poem out loud. Link this to pace and speed and how it can represent certain things in the poem.
Teaching Kids Poetry
Students can then experiment with structure in their own poems. Expose your students to what is being published at the moment and give them, and yourself, syllabus pit-stops: Read them out loud, lots of them. Try shadowing the TS Eliot Prize with one of your sets or with just a few students. We perhaps owe it to our students to be more concrete in our annotations, though, and to take their poems as seriously as their coursework: Not only will they appreciate your attention, but suddenly creative writing just got important: Deliver your feedback on a post-it, a postcard; suggest another poem to a student that he alone might enjoy — or attach it with a paperclip.
Whatever you can make time for.
- Le secret dIsoline (French Edition).
- The Fisherman: A Novel.
- Million Dollar Dentistry;
If you make students read out their own poems one by one — are they always actively listening to each other or just waiting in boredom or terror for their turn? Open a discussion afterwards about what the students enjoyed; send them out of the room on that positive high. Share with your team. In department meetings, share poems that you have discovered, and poetry writing lessons that have gone well. Forward plan and dedicate some departmental time, perhaps even whole school INSET, to sharing best practice with your colleagues.
If you champion creative writing at your school then other teachers might be inspired to follow your lead and ultimately more students will benefit. Ask your maths department to demonstrate the possible permutations of a sonnet as a starter, align your poetry stimuli for a week with the science syllabus: Tips for from Teacher Trailblazer Katherine Whittington My top three tips for establishing a culture of poetry in a school….
Make the Library space and stock all about the students. Ask them what they like about it and what would make them use it more. Target some of the more reluctant students — they might just surprise you.
How can you teach poetry all year? Do you have time?
Let them make stock recommendations, talk to them about their favourite poets. If you have any questions or need any help, please feel free to contact me at JustAddStudents gmail. I blog about all sorts of educational topics including poetry! Can you tell from this post that I love poetry?! Besides having a passion for poems, I have over 15 years in the classroom — teaching all things ELA to students in grades four through college.
My teaching resources can be found at Just Add Students. Sign up for time-saving teaching tips, effective strategies, and awesome freebies right to your inbox! Look for a freebie in your very first email! This blog post really shows your passion for poetry!!!
I'm certain your students enjoy poetry as you teach it. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post on poetry!!! Your blog post is so informative. I agree that you can teach it all year and it helped s students to get their creative juices flowing.
Teaching Students to Comprehend Poetry in 7 Steps
Mary Pat, You sold me on the idea to teach poetry throughout the year… Thanks for giving me so many ideas… -Vicky. I love teaching poetry, but you're right; I often wait until April! Thanks for the great reminder and the wonderful ideas! My kids are going to love writing!
Your idea of using poetry in Science is great!
I'm going to try it in my Math classes. Now that I'm all grown up, I write songs that are hopefully! Teachers who inspire kids to write.. I do that for every song. That's how they learn to make creative word choices! Bless you for this awesome post. You have inspired me to bring poetry back to life in my class! Thanks for taking the time to share your expertise!!!! I promise you, incorporating poetry into your Year Long Plan is easy and fun. Your email address will not be published.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. First Name E-Mail Address. Bloglovin Facebook Instagram Pinterest Twitter. They did not know how much ocean or land lay between Europe and Asia. The men in this poem are sailing their 15th century ship through unknown waters hoping to discover new land. Imagine how scary it would be to set sail without knowing where you were going or what was out there! Many people during this time believed that there were monsters in the ocean waiting to attack them. The men in this poem sailed through storms and fog not knowing what they would find or how long it would be until they reached land.
You may want them to follow along with a copy while you read, or you may want them to only focus on your reading. Ask them to focus on the difference between the admiral and the mate and crew. What do the mate and crew want? What does the admiral tell them?