In my new book, Poetry Pauses: Teaching With Poems to Elevate Student Writing in All Genres, I examine how poems can be easy to tuck into our practice and enhance the work we are already doing as we helps student writers to grow.
For the past
April is National Poetry Month -- but please don’t relegate poems to only one month! Rather, use them all year long to get kids excited about language and to build foundational literacy skills.
Poems can be used to teach fluency, vocabulary, phonic patterns, text structure, speaking and listening, author study, and comprehension. Most children find poems engaging and enjoy reading, writing, and presenting them. Perhaps this is due to the brevity, rhythms, and rhymes of poems, as
by Sara Holbrook
You don’t have to be a lioness
to evidence some fierce –
a Chihuahua bouncing barking backwards
has the heart, the mind, the grrrrrr.
You don’t have to be a cheetah to
chase and catch some fast.
A toddler streaking for the toilet,
an OH NO pounding past is
Yes, poetry can matter.
For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)-they are experiences.
Rainer Maria Rilke
Poetry scares teachers – how do we teach it – and more problematic for instructors, how do we interpret and or grade it? Ought we
Read. Read. Read.
Students need to hear and read poems—lots of them: poems that rhyme; poems that make us clap our hands and dance to their rhythm; poems that paint vivid pictures; funny poems; poems that speak to all their feelings.
Take a poetry break during the