In April for National Poetry Month, the Real Teens Read group focused on poetry all month long. We’ve been reading poems each month along with our book selection, but for April, we decided to spend some time on poetry alone.
For 2015, I’m planning to continue to incorporate poetry, because the more we read it, the more the teens seem to be connecting with it. So far, we’ve covered these elements:
- Rhyme and Rhythm
It’s fun to see how the teens respond to poems, and as we’ve read more and more Shakespeare, mythology, and classic literature, they are understanding some of the literary references they encounter in the poems.
We’ve finally reached the point where they can tie everything together that they’ve learned and start to really analyze a poem. We’ve done lots of literary analysis with the novels, and now they have the skills to do that with poetry as well.
A couple of our April activities included reading some selections from William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience and explicating the poems. The teens are learning to look at this process like building a puzzle, piece by piece.
The teens also participated in Poem in Your Pocket day, which will be held on April 30 in 2015!
Another activity the teens enjoyed was choosing a song and reading the lyrics as if they were a poem. They each had a chance to “teach” their song-poem to the group and share the details of their explications. Their choices really revealed a lot about their personalities!
Some resources I find helpful for teaching poetry are :
- The Art of Poetry by Christine Perrin
- Introduction to Poetry: Forms and Elements Study Guide by Judy Cook (Progeny Press)
- A Child’s Introduction to Poetry by Michael Driscoll