For the love of language, teach poetry

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I have been thinking about all things poetry over the past few weeks as I prepared a full day course on teaching poetry for the Centre for Professional Learning. Teaching¬† lessons about poetry and writing poems with a number of students has refreshed my love of poetry. Poetry is the perfect text to explore in any classroom. Why? Poems come in all shapes and sizes. Think about songs, raps, riddles, tongue twisters, bush ballads: there is a type of poem for every student to enjoy. Many poems are quite short but packed with ideas and emotion. This means they are accessible even for reluctant readers. Explore using poems in guided reading and literature circles. The poems above were written with two of my grandchildren and remind me of the value of choice. Allowing students to write about what they choose promotes ownership of the text. Parker isn’t at school yet so his diamante poem came from a conversation we had about his favourite animal. As he is currently interested in animals he brought lots of ideas to writing about his favourite animal. I just asked questions and scribed his answers. So if you have avoided poetry, my suggestion is give it a go and have some fun in your classroom!

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