Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tips for Presenting Poetry to Young People

In their book, Poetry Everywhere, Collom and Noethe (2005) provide many strategies and tips for guiding young people in their poetry writing. To set the stage, they offer these practical suggestions for taking a “hands-on approach” to leading poetry sessions.

The list begins:

  1. Be yourself. You needn’t and shouldn’t show reverence for poetry by means of an artificially dignified atmosphere.
  2. Walking around while teaching, sharing, and especially reading orally grabs ALL the students’ attention, involves them as a community” (Chris Casterson, 3rd grade teacher). It also helps lend a physical sense to the poetry.
  3. Energy is the key—but it shouldn’t be forced. It can be “quiet” energy.
  4. In some ways, you can be less “in charge.” Much of the learning in poetry comes from the inside out.
  5. It’s probably best not to “push” your beliefs about the beauties of poetry, but to let them emerge through examples and practice.

For more details, get your copy of The Poetry Teacher’s Book of Lists.
And if you already have the book and would like to offer additions, corrections, or other input, please do so in the COMMENTS area. Thanks!

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