Tag Archives: #poetrychat

The Pedagogy of Poetry Instruction: Join us for #PoetryChat

img_0341-1I have had the joy of watching Amy get revved up about a variety of teaching topics, but I’ve never seen her with a brighter glow than when she talks about her experience at The Frost Place.  Their Conference on Poetry and Teaching is an amazing opportunity for teachers, readers, and writers of poetry to experience the “reading-conversation-writing-revision cycle” that is so central to conference director Dawn L. Potter‘s poetic philosophy.

I’ve been reading much of Dawn’s aforementioned poetic philosophy, and seeing it in practice, in her book The Conversation–which is blowing my mind.  A thick, wordy tome with small print offset by the white space so signature to poetry, the book is full of wisdom that is the conversationrevolutionizing how I view the teaching of poetry.

As such, we are thrilled to have Dawn as our guest during March 7’s #PoetryChat, where she (and other chat participants) will converse about how to teach poetry.  Dawn’s expertise as a teacher and poet are incredible, and we can’t wait to hear her thoughts on our questions, and see her responses to chat participants’ questions as well.

Below are our questions for the chat–please share any that you have in the comments, and join us Monday, March 7 at 7 CT/8 ET for this month’s #PoetryChat on the pedagogy of poetry instruction.

  1. What poets and poems inspire(d) your love of poetry?
  2. What’s your best advice for helping students read and understand poetry?
  3. What’s your best advice for helping students WRITE poetry?
  4. How can teachers move away from poetry units and toward embedding poetry in ALL instruction?
  5. What is the best way to help make poetry relatable (and not intimidating) to its readers?
  6. As a poet, how do you approach reading poetry?
  7. What are your thoughts on revision?

Share your questions in the comments, and join us for the chat

#PoetryChat – Boys & Poetry – Monday, August 3 8ET

IMG_8888This week, the writers of Three Teachers Talk are together in Durham, New Hampshire at the UNH Literacy Institutes.  For five days now, we’ve learned with Penny Kittle and Tom Newkirk about strengthening our practice and our thinking.

Newkirk’s class, centered around his Misreading Masculinity (2001), is focused on boys and literacy.  We’ve read and discussed issues of violence, humor, personality, sexuality, power, and more–all surrounding boy readers and writers.

Join us to continue this conversation on the topic of poetry.  The four of us will be together in Portsmouth, ready to chat on Monday at 8ET.

1. How do you notice your boys responding to poetry in your classroom?

2. Should boys write poetry in an English class?

3. How is poetry uniquely valuable for boys?

4. How do you hook boys into poetry?

5. What are your best poems, poets, or poetry resources to engage your boys?

Poetry Chat August 3

#PoetryChat Tonight, 8ET

poetry-prompts-rantLet’s talk poetry.

A few months ago, a pre-service teacher I know asked me to give her some feedback on a poetry unit she’d written.  Her mini-unit, a 25-page document filled mostly by her professor’s formatting requirements, troubled me for a few reasons.

First, as Amy established, poetry is more than a unit–it’s a powerful way of teaching linguistic precision, the art of writing, and the freedom of expression.  It shouldn’t be a two-week item to scratch off a curricular checklist.

Further, pre-planning a unit in such a detailed way takes the power out of learning. “You’re doing too much of the thinking in this unit, and your students aren’t doing enough,” I wrote to her. She had selected every poem, every genre, and every skill for her students to learn–in doing so, she took away a valuable opportunity for her students to seek out, evaluate, and share found and original poetry.

Second, this teacher’s unit was full of contradictions.  I loved seeing her ideas about including slam poetry, spine poems, blackout poetry, and other engaging, unique poetry possibilities.  However, I was confused by what seemed to be an obligation she felt to teach every literary and poetry term ever.  “Focus on getting your students to learn how to WRITE poetry by studying other AUTHORS of poetry,” I advised. “When Dickinson was writing poems, it wasn’t because she was like ‘oooh I love metaphors’–it was because she had a broken heart.”

In teaching poetry, it seems like too many of us are yoked to an antiquated view of poetry–metaphors, dactyls, metric feet.  We are focused too much on the HOW of poetry, and not enough on the WHY.  As we teach our students, let’s focus on them as poets, not simple readers of poems.

Join us tonight at 8ET for a #poetrychat about ways to transform our students into poets by getting poetry off our shelves and into their hands, introducing them to mentor authors, and encouraging play with nontraditional poetry forms.

#PoetryChat Questions:

Warm-Up: Your favorite line or phrase from a loved poem

1. Why do you think many students find poetry intimidating or inaccessible?

2. When you teach poetry, how do you balance the students’ READING of poetry and WRITING of poetry?

3. What are your favorite genres of nontraditional poetry (prose poetry, spine poems, etc.)?

4. Who are your favorite mentor poets? How do you use them to teach your students?

5. What can our students gain from novels in verse? What are your favorite in-verse titles?

6. Let’s finish by sharing our most successful poetry teaching stories. What’s yours?

Launching an Official Monthly #poetrychat

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Evidently, there is not an official #poetrychat, but isn’t it a sweet idea?

Poetry serves as an important and beautiful lens into the literary world, and it deserves more than a hurrah during National Poetry Month.

I find that the more I talk about poetry the more I use poems in my classroom. Not like that’s a big surprise. The more I talk about books the more my students read.

So, I’ve been giving this a ton of thought. Do I want one more grape on my plate? And the answer has to be yes.

Today @JasonCarney5 artistic director of Young DFW Writers gave a pitch to my English department. Would we like to be a school that takes advantage of the Louder Than a Bomb program?

Um, yeah.

Meeting Jason and hearing about how his introduction to poetry changed the trajectory of his life was another testament to the power of poetry and what reading and writing it can do for a young person.

Aren’t we as literacy educators always looking for ways to engage and empower our young people and give them opportunities to grow as readers and writers?

So, yes, even if I get YDFW at my school next year (which I’m pretty sure is a done deal), I still feel the need to join other educators who are passionate about the “art” in language arts for a monthly poetry chat.

The teacher-writers at Three Teachers Talk are starting a monthly poetry chat. We hope to connect educators and poets, and work to infuse poetry into the year-long curriculum of ELA classrooms.

“A Poem about Topics for a Poetry Chat”

Spoken-word poems,

prose poems

found poems

spine poems

 

Ways to share student-written poems

 

Poetry to teach allusion,

imagery

syntax

grammar

self-respect

 

Books in verse

Verses for book talks

 

We will meet the first Monday of each month at 8:00ET, directly following #engchat at 7. Remember to use the hashtag #poetrychat — and to have links ready to your favorite poems and lesson ideas.

Mark your calendar for Monday, May 4 at 7:00 pm Central Time.

Leave your ideas for topics in the comments. Thanks!

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