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Showing posts from 2012

Narrative Poetry -Tells Its Own Story

Last month I wrote about working with Grade three and four students atArdeerSouthPrimary School who began investigating narrative poetry. Our inquiry started with sharing poems by Michael Rosen (Chocolate Cake) and Steven Herrick (First Day At School). We looked closely at the text structures and features of this writing form. 
During our study we closely examined poetic elements such as line breaks and white space. We began by working In pairs reconstructing a Michael Rosen poem (from the book,Quick Let's Get Out of Here) which I had earlier deconstructed. The task was somewhat like unscrambling a jigsaw. 
This exercise drew attention to the decisions poets must make when presenting words across a page. Lots of talk, and collaboration ensued as these young poets magically restored the poem to a more familiar layout. Follow up discussion revealed that these writers were developing an awareness of the need for a difference in text layout to a traditional narrative.  
We discussed diff…

How To Become Addicted To Poetry

If you truly wish to become a more poetry friendly person, here are some ideas to bring about the changes to the way you value this aspect of literacy. The poet that dwells within will become apparent to your students (and your colleagues) over time. Students will hopefully come to view you as poetry's pal! If you are introducing the writing of poetry into your instructional  program consider the following ways to create the best conditions for poetry to prosper:
·Read poetry on a regular basis. A poem a day will assist you in developing your poetic character. It is said that before we can hope to write poetry, we need to read lots of this special writing form. ·Keep an anthology of poetry close by – at home and at work. ·Share poems that take your fancy with your students. ·Find a partner in poetry with whom to exchange poetry. ·Encourage your students to bring poetry into the classroom. ·Investigate metaphor, simile, alliteration, assonance until you feel comfortable with their presence…

Using REPETITION in Poetry

Everywhere I look at present in Blog world or Twitter, I see and hear poetry! This always gets my creative juices flowing, so this post is in support of all those brave teacher poets out there. Hope you can use this idea to astound and amaze your students and colleagues.

Today, it’s all about repeating ourselves…


Repetition is an old and basic element in poetry. It goes back to poetry's origin in chants and spells. Something "magical" happens when you repeat a word, phrase or line. It gives the reader a chance to rest before setting forth again. It becomes the refrain that glues the words together. Words take on new dimensions, subtleties, and connotations. It creates patterns--and echoes. To create a poem using repetition, you could begin by making a list using one of the following starting points:

Somewhere you went todayToday's weatherDescription of your clothesAn event you witnessed recently10 randomly selected simple concrete nouns (as opposed to…

Taking Poetry Beyond Haiku and Acrostics in APRIL!

It is April and that means National Poetry Month in the USA! I vividly recall during my six years living and working in the US how schools went into poetry mode each April. I found this focus on poetry left me in a quandary. I love poetry, so this national focus on poetry was something that greatly impressed me. It brought this ancient genre to centre stage and I considered that was something our Australian schools could learn from. Poetry in such a supportive environment began to shed its elitist cloak. It became accessible to the broader school population.
However, something began to gnaw away at me as each successive April celebration unfolded. I became concerned that in the minds of many educators poetry was being constrained to a single month in the school calendar.
I wanted to encounter poetry across the school year, but it seemed tightly confined to the month of April in the minds of many. I wanted poetry to pop up unexpectedly; at various times of the school day, and in differ…