Refreshing methods of introducing poetry to students

James Harlan

James Harlan is a researcher and statistician where he is able to give help for professionals and students in dissertation writing.

Website: jamesharl.wordpress.com/ Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Image credit: Flickr // dentonpotter Image credit: Flickr // dentonpotter

Great poetry can be the kind of art that stays with you forever, be it Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney or Daffodils by William Wordsworth. However, given the old-school nature of poetry means that a lot of students will need a great introduction from a teacher. James Harlan discusses some cool ideas for getting students into the artform. Rereading and performing poetry are two of the most common techniques used in poetry-introductions. Others would require students to conduct their reading on topics, like meter and rhyme. These methods are effective.

But that doesn’t mean teachers can’t try other techniques. This piece serves to showcase some useful (and tested) creative prompts for poetry. Hopefully, you and your students will find them useful too!

The Favourite Toy

Poems are personal; it tends to show the poet’s ability to observe. To enable students to see just that, let them bring their favourite toy (without fully telling them what it’s about). For briefing, let them describe their favourite toy or have them list relevant descriptive words. These words will be used to pen the first draft of their poem about toys.

For an advance exercise, you can let them immediately compose a poem about their toy. You can provide cues that range from the physical attributes of the toy; to the ‘feel’ it lends in their hands (is it rough or smooth?). They may also create a narrative poem that tells how the toy became theirs (a travel from the toy store to their homes).

There are so many possibilities. With your assistance, students are guaranteed to wield interesting poems about their favourite toy.

If Music is a Person

A technique oft-used in a lot of poems: anthropomorphism. This technique allows inanimate objects and metaphysical concepts to possess human qualities (like a pen that waltzes in paper). In this prompt, students are encouraged to envision their preferred music genre as a person.

Perhaps, some may consider their ballads as a kind of cowboy. Those who loved rock metal may visualise the genre as the noisy seatmate. Musical attributes, like soft, melodious, or soothing, may be transformed into human behaviours (soft = soft speaking-voice).

Music is actually a good choice as all students subscribe to one or more particular genres. They have fostered deep relationships with music – such links will allow them to recreate their vision of music (in this prompt’s context, as a person).

Intense Feelings

A lot of poems convey strong feelings of sadness, happiness and in-betweens. For this prompt, let your students recall the most recent scenario by which they have experienced intense feelings.

The mission of this prompt is to allow students to pour those feelings into a poem. They may write or jot down notes about those ‘intense feelings’ before penning their poem. While students can simply adopt the confessional type of penning exactly how they felt, encourage them to also take in metaphors.

Concluding prompt

At the end of each of these, let your students read them aloud. For an interesting twist, the created poems may also be switched among classmates; thereby, allowing another student to interpret their classmate’s poem.

Teaching poetry is admittedly, one of the most difficult quagmires in the classroom. Perhaps it’s because a lot of students fear poems.  Allow them to change their minds by letting them become their very own poets.

How do you implement poetry reading in your classroom? Let us know below!

Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support us.
When you register, you'll join a grassroots community where you can:
• Enjoy unlimited access to articles
• Get recommendations tailored to your interests
• Attend virtual events with our leading contributors
Register Now
Login

Latest stories

  • How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country
    How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country

    Teaching English in a foreign country is likely to be one of the most demanding experiences you'll ever have. It entails relocating to a new country, relocating to a new home, and beginning a new career, all of which are stressful in and of themselves, but now you're doing it all at once. And you'll have to converse in a strange language you may not understand.

  • Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?
    Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?

    Over the weekend, my family of five went to an Orlando theme park, and I decided we should really enjoy ourselves by purchasing an Unlimited Quick Queue pass. It was so worth the money! We rode every ride in the park at least twice, but one ride required us to ride down a rapidly flowing river, which quenched us with water. It was incredible that my two-year-old was laughing as well. We rode the Infinity Falls ride four times in one day—BEST DAY EVER for FAMILY FUN in the Sun! The entire experience was epic, full of energizing emotions and, most importantly, lots of smiles. What made this ride so cool was that the whole family could experience it together, the motions were on point, and the water was the icing on the cake. It had been a while since I had that type of fun, and I will never forget it.

  • Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2
    Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2

    The Action Pack is back for the start of the brand new school year, just in time for Recycle Week 2021 on 20 - 26 September, to empower pupils to make the world a better and more sustainable place. The free recycling-themed resources are designed for KS1 and KS2 and cover the topics of Art, English, PSHE, Science and Maths and have been created to easily fit into day-to-day lesson planning.

  • Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu
    Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu

    Following the exceptional performance from British breakthrough star Emma Raducanu, who captured her first Grand Slam at the US Open recently, Emmamania is already inspiring pupils aged 4 - 11 to get more involved in tennis - and LTA Youth, the flagship
    programme from The LTA, the governing body of tennis in Britain, has teachers across the country covered.

  • 5 ways to boost your school's eSafety
    5 ways to boost your school's eSafety

    eSafety is a term that constantly comes up in school communities, and with good reason. Students across the world are engaging with technology in ways that have never been seen before. This article addresses 5 beginning tips to help you boost your school’s eSafety. 

  • Tackling inequality in EdTech
    Tackling inequality in EdTech

    We have all been devastated by this pandemic that has swept the world in a matter of weeks. Schools have rapidly had to change the way they operate and be available for key workers' children. The inequalities that have long existed in communities and schools are now being amplified by the virus.

  • EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab
    EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab

    The world is catching up with a truth that we’ve championed at Learning Ladders for the last 5 years - that children’s learning outcomes are greatly improved by teachers, parents and learners working in partnership. 

  • Reducing primary to secondary transition stress
    Reducing primary to secondary transition stress

    As school leaders grapple with the near impossible mission to start bringing more students into schools from 1st June, there are hundreds of thousands of Year 6 pupils thinking anxiously about their move to secondary school.

  • Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?
    Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?

    The K-12 online tutoring market is booming around the world, with recent research estimating it to grow by 12% per year over the next five years, a USD $60bn increase. By breaking down geographic barriers and moving beyond the limits of local teaching expertise, online tutoring platforms are an especially valuable tool for those looking to supplement their studies in the developing world, and students globally are increasingly signing up to online tuition early on in their secondary education schooling. 

  • Employable young people or human robots?
    Employable young people or human robots?

    STEM skills have been a major focus in education for over a decade and more young people are taking science, technology, engineering, and maths subjects at university than ever before, according to statistics published by UCAS. The downside of this is that the UK is now facing a soft skills crisis and the modern world will also require children to develop strong social skills as the workplaces are transformed by technology. 

In order to make our website better for you, we use cookies!

Some firefox users may experience missing content, to fix this, click the shield in the top left and "disable tracking protection"