ERIC Number: ED336753
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Nov
Teaching Poetry to the Unenthused.
Emery, Michael J.
In teaching poetry to unenthused students, a teacher began as though the student have never seen a poem they liked. Teachers are advised to keep to free verse whenever possible, and when possible to stay contemporary, especially in the early stages of poetry teaching. Poems that don't need footnotes for clarity can be taught and whatever texts are being used can always be supplemented with interesting poems found in personal reading. Students must always be given some leeway in choosing which poem to discuss in groups or in writing assignments: choices that allow them to make value judgments and express their own interests can be offered. It is most important to start with students' own words and ideas--not someone else's. There are various class activities which have students write something from which poetic form and content can be derived at the start of a discussion of poetry analysis. For example, a teacher can hand out an A to Z list containing all the words of a brief poem, and ask each student to reassemble the words in a free verse form of 10 lines or so in a brief period of time, read them aloud, choose a few, and proceed with the discussion of poetry analysis. Such approaches can also be used in literature-based composition classes and in creative writing classes. (Two handouts providing a list of definitions of poetic terms and a comparison of literary elements of fiction and poetry are attached.) (SR)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (80th, Atlanta, GA, November 16-21, 1990).