Learn the Building Blocks of Poetry
This blog uses affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Grammar of Poetry is a 30-lesson course for middle school and early high school level students, with a suggested 1/2 academic high school literature credit. It is designed to be completed in one semester as part of a language arts course, but can be easily adapted to suit your needs. (I actually used it over an entire school year.)
The nine modules require parent involvement for the best results, and it takes about fifteen to thirty minutes to complete a lesson. This course is based on the classical method of education and includes a student book, teacher book and DVD set.
Many homeschool moms find poetry intimidating to teach, and therefore often skip over it. As a former classroom English teacher, I love teaching poetry, but it is not always easy to get students to share my enthusiasm. There are so many elements of poetry that may not make sense at first. Once you dive in and start analyzing lines, these elements often become clearer.
Grammar of Poetry does an excellent job of breaking down the elements of poetry and building on students’ knowledge incrementally. Each module covers one trope (a specific figure of speech), one element of meter (the music of poetry), and then students do an imitation (where students write their own poems).
The lessons form building blocks of information for students to help them understand the language, or grammar of poetry.
The lessons of Grammar of Poetry
- Lesson 1 – Introduction & Epiphany Chart
- Lesson 2 – How to Read Poetry
- Lesson 3 – Simile (trope)
- Lesson 4 – Rhyme
- Lesson 5 – Using a Rhyming Dictionary
- Lesson6 – Metaphor (trope) Lesson 7 – Part One Meter
- Lesson 8 – Part Two Meter
- Lesson 9 – Pun (trope)
- Lesson 10 – Iamb (foot)
- Lesson 11 – Iambic Imitation
- Lesson 12 – Personification (trope)
- Lesson 13 – Trochee (trope)
- Lesson 14 – Trochee Imitation
- Lesson 15 – Synecdoche (trope)
- Lesson 16 – Anapest (foot)
- Lesson 17 – Anapest (foot)
- Lesson 18 – Hyperbole (trope)
- Lesson 19 – Dactyl (foot)
- Lesson 20 – Dactylic Imitation
- Lesson 21 – Onomatopoeia (trope)
- Lesson 22 – Alliteration
- Lesson 23 – Alliteration Imitation
- Lesson 24 – Rhetorical Question (trope)
- Lesson 25 – Refrain
- Lesson 26 – Refrain Imitation
- Lesson 27 – Oxymoron (trope)
- Lesson 28 – Spacial Poetry
- Lesson 29 – Spacial Imitation
- Lesson 30 – Euphemism (trope)
The video curriculum is especially good, because the author himself, Matt Whitling, a principal at the Logos School, is the on-screen teacher. He takes students through thirty lessons that follow the book, adding explanations and examples beyond what the book contains and explaining why poetry is an important area of study for all students.
The program can be taught with the books alone, but for homeschool parents who are reluctant to tackle poetry, Mr. Whitling is an excellent teacher, and the DVD is an excellent supplement. The slow, steady pace of the lessons are appropriate for ages 12+
If you are looking for a supplement to your English curriculum, a one-semester course, or a summer course for your middle to high school student, I highly recommend Grammar of Poetry. This is one of those resources that makes homeschooling the older grades an easy and doable task, which makes it more likely that families will keep homeschooling until graduation.
The publisher provided a review copy of Grammar of Poetry.