ERIC Number: ED284279
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Children's Responses to Poetry in a Supportive Literary Context.
McClure, Amy A.
In an effort to understand the effect of a nurturing, supportive environment on children's understanding of poetry, a study was conducted involving the observation of 42 rural fifth and sixth grade students and their two teachers over a school year. During the course of the year the children were invited to respond to published, professional poetry in large and small group settings, as well as work on poetry of their own, regularly submitting it for criticism by teachers and peers. The children were audiotaped interacting with one another and with their teachers during these sessions, and were occasionally interviewed and photographed. The results of the study suggest that a significant number of the children were able to develop more complex, abstract responses to professional poetry and create poetry of their own with deeper, more complex metaphor and imagery when allowed a long enough period of time to discuss and experiment with it. Suggestions for teaching children poetry include the notions that (1) children need to be immersed in reading and writing poetry, rather than studying it in a short unit; (2) children should not be pushed to develop technical perfection in their work, but rather allowed to search for meaning in a poem, using their own past experiences; and (3) children's initial, disorganized efforts at poetry should be encouraged and nurtured by peers and teachers. (JC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Peer Modeling; Writing Models
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (76th, San Antonio, TX, November 21-26, 1986).