Young Adult Lit/Crit

March 24, 2008

Poetry for All!

Filed under: seminar feedback — allison @ 8:46 am

Hi everyone,

Here are my comments on Erin’s delightful seminar. What struck me the most about her presentation was her goal to make poetry connect with ALL students. How do we do this? Moving away from the classics (but not abandoning them) and showing students poetry that they can relate to. Erin’s main texts were anthologies of poems written by teens, and some that featured poets of all ages. She also showed us that we should choose books that will reach teens of different sexes, ethinic backgrounds, and interests. For the last category, I want to share one of Erin’s titles, which was about dogs. The World According to Dog:Poems and Teen Voices was a book of poems and beautiful photos of dogs.

I think poetry is a great way to for students to enjoy reading and writing because it is so personal. The anthologies that Erin shared showed this. Not  only is it personal, though. Its fun!! We talked about this at length. It’s important to include mini lessons that are fun for the students! There was one in particular that’s especially fun, in which the students combine two words to make a new word. Joyce came up with the images of your pants getting dirty and muddy from the snow in March. I came up with the word “smuddy” to describe it. We all had so much fun doing this! Imagine what the students would come up with!! These types of exercises will truely get students thinking about words, how to combine them, what sounds good and what does not.

A final aspect of the seminar that I want to discuss is performance. We talked about incorporating music or creating slams with the students. This can really spark up a poetry unit and make them feel like they are learning about poetry for a purpose. Authentic learning! Taking students to slams can also be a great extension. I’d take them to the one coming up in Cortland! It’s sure to be a good one.

I hope these comments were helpful. Perhaps Erin will post her bibliography- I thought she had some great books on it.



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