Posts Tagged ‘teaching poetry’

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On Fridays with my 6th grade gifted kids, we unpack a poem. We discuss everything from form to figurative language, assign tone and theme, and write a poem in response. This is my favorite lesson of the week. The Promethean Board with the annotation tool makes it even better.

Yesterday we focused on Irene Latham’s spring poems. She posts a video each week designed for homeschoolers, but it works for me, too. This week we watched this video:

Using Irene’s Art Speak Padlet, we located the poems she highlighted and selected one to unpack. My first group chose “because every day is a symphony in spring.” So many things to see, imagery, personification, word choice, rhyme…

When yellow rings,
green cannot await
its return.

As white fades
in discord,

yellow rings.
Once again

as purple, pink
orange, and red
splash the fields.

Jaden, 6th grade

When green season 

the rainbow comes out
from every direction
and all around

Red triangles grow with yellow spots
on green string,

orange sky falls
and the orange sky rises.

Yellow lights
shine through the heavy white marshmallows,

green spikes
poke out of the ground.

The sky’s blue
falling down in may,

with purple and pink petals
that have been waiting for 
this season. 

Green season, 
green season,
full of delight
and color.

Katie, 6th grade

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During this monthlong survey of poetry, there is trouble.

So many decisions to make.

What should I teach today?
Line breaks,
literary elements,

I want to say stop to
sing-song rhymes
and simple forms.

Then one turns to another and says,
“Let’s write a rap abecedarian.”

Like the messiness of art class,
the instructor must allow
for paint splatters and stains,
for stalled-out cinquains
and skip-to-my-loos.

Poetry is hard.
Poetry is easy.
There are rules in poetry.
There are no rules:
Let the poem find its way.
This is the trouble with poetry.
This is the joy of poetry.

–Margaret Simon

Follow the Progressive Poem to  Charles Waters.

Follow the Progressive Poem to Charles Waters.




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