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hint about non-rhyming poetry
Old 08-05-2007, 09:10 AM
 
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I discovered something that I thought I'd share. This may be so off and maybe I'm depriving kids a bit, but it works for me.

First-- I learned my first 3 years of teaching that kids don't really prefer or appreciate non-rhyming poetry- the kind we've been talking about on this board- if you try to introduce it after they have been served a solid helping of hilarious Shel Silverstein and others. Yes- I know- I should have realized earlier, but for three years in a row I waited until April to introduce free verse poetry.

Secondly- It wasn't until last year, that I realized that if I not really "hid" rhyming poetry, but laid low on it, celebrating the beauty and surprises that free-verse has to offer first, then when I later started reading funny rhyming poems my kids wouldn't all together abandon the free verse. Last year what I had was a class who LOVED poetry of all kinds. It was their favorite thing to read in the mornings b/c our time is short then. I could usually find a partner reading "You Read to me, I'll Read to You," someone reading "Honey, I Love" and a mix of others reading both silly and serious poetry. My kids could really articulate the fact that they needed both kinds of poetry for different times and moods.

Again-- I'm not saying to totally hide the fact that rhyming poetry exists, but if you really flood them early with free verse, they are more likely to find success reading and writing it.


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poetry
Old 08-05-2007, 01:50 PM
 
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I had never thought of that Bookmuncher. That is a great idea, and one that I will certainly use this year. I want my kids to experience all types of poetry. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 08-06-2007, 04:59 AM
 
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I think you are onto something there! Perhaps, we should not make such strong distinctions between the two. If you introduce a rhyming poem, perhaps your next poem should be a free verse. I was thinking to myself that it might not be a bad idea if I introduce an idea through poetry to show how it could be introduced both through free verse and rhyme. I think that for the younger students if they did not feel pressured to make sure everything rhymed that they would be more eager to write poetry.
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how true
Old 08-06-2007, 06:11 AM
 
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rather than focusing on rhyming, it's good to get kids to look at other features of poetry i.e. use of sensory words, rhythm, the melodic feeling good poetry offers, as well as use of space etc.

I have also read that a focus on rhyming can inhibit writing because it can be more difficult to come up with rhyming words and can really stilt a piece.

A nice balance is good so they can learn to appreciate all types of poetry. Just like everything else, it's important to have good models and varied exposures.

It's great for young children to have an appreciation for poetry as so many of us were turned off from they way it was approached in our schooling.
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alternate
Old 08-06-2007, 07:46 AM
 
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I agree, judy, that alternating could help.

Also just modeling how much you love certain poems and how they make you feel and leaving it at that without any activities or discussion sometimes.

At the end of last year, I had a place the kids could sign up for Rise and Shine Poetry. I think there were four spots. They could sign up the day before and they had to practice their poem for fluency before reading it. They could read any poem (even if it was one we'd heard a million times before!) from any book in the room or out of it. We would do it right before the morning message and kids really started getting creative by the end of th eyear. They would read it split into parts or half in unison, half not. They would make up motions, etc... One thing that I would always ask the rest of the class after they read it was "What parts of that poem sounded good to you?" This question grew their understanding that certain words just feel good to say at that poets really think about creative ways to say an ordinary thought.

I'd like to keep it up, but we're really on a time crunch with my new schedule. It might be possible to squeeze it into a different transition time.


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Re: alternate
Old 08-14-2007, 07:23 AM
 
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Nice idea about reading the poetry. Just a few questions....
Would all 4 kids read the same poem? or 4 different "performers"?
Would the audience have a copy of the poem?
I love this idea...I think it will help the children feel more confident and have them "dig" to find a great poem.
Thanks
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