Thursday, May 28, 2015

More Advice for Teaching Children [and Adults] Writing

Here are books of poetry that are accessible and I highly recommend getting:
I like Invisible Ladder because each poet also writes about her or his childhood. These poems are "easy" and powerful. Poetry 180 is also my introduction to poetry for people who "do not like poetry."
Also, puns are a wonderful way to get kids into language. Puns help build those connections with words--and they are a good laugh.
Every time I lead a poetry workshop, people say they do not know how to write a poem. I say, "Well, go ahead and write a poem." Then they do. There is no right or wrong way, and I always affirm people when they say, "I don't know if this is a poem, but here it is," before they begin reading. Read poems out loud. You could even have Emery read a poem out of Poetry 180 and use it as an example to write from. "Here is a poem about basketball. Could you write one?" Honestly, I would not even stress editing and such. That will come over time. A lot of the editing I learned came from what I studied when I was going to teach English in grad school. smile emoticon

You can read poems form the Poetry 180 collection with amazon's "Look Inside." See what you think.
I stress poetry because: it is accessible, it is a short form, and English made sense to me when I finally "got poetry."
Also, graphic novels would be a fantastic way to build interest in reading. Like this:

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