Young Adult Lit/Crit

March 26, 2008

Seminar Feedback-Erin

Filed under: seminar feedback — katefrazer @ 6:30 pm

First off, I want to say how much I enjoyed Erin’s seminar.  I thought the particular texts she chose to work with was great.  She had a great range  I specifically enjoyed the book composed of poems by Native American by teens and young adults, Night is Gone, Day is Still Coming, as well as Things I Have to Tell You, which is composed of poems by teenage girls.  I was pleased that Erin also discussed a similar book written by teenage boys.  After hearing some of the poems in these books, I was really struck by the power they had.  These young adults were tackling challenging topics and expressing very real feelings-something that is important for other kids to read and understand.  I definitely would like to have these books in my room for my kids to read and hopefully use as inspiration for their own poetry. 

I appreciated that Erin included an article by a middle school teacher who used to be apprehensive about teaching poetry.  That is me now.  This teacher drastically changed her opinion on teaching poetry, and gave some great ideas as to how to have fun and be successful in this area.  I shared how I would like to use these ideas in my class, and how I could see my own students reacting.  This article sparked an interesting discussion of others ideas everyone had for being creative with poetry.

Erin included some great lesson ideas in her seminar.  Using the poems by Native Americans in connection with The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian seems like an excellent way to reach a better understanding of the texts and stereotypes and the other issues that Native Americans face.  This could lead to using more sets of text to explore issues faced by other groups of people (race, gender, ethnicity, etc.).

I left Erin’s seminar with some ideas for teaching poetry that I can’t wait to use with my students.  Between the selected texts, lesson ideas, and the articles in the folder, I have a lot of new material to hopefully make me a better and less intimidated teacher of poetry! –Kate

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