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Slide Notes

How many poets does it take to change a light bulb?
One to change the bulb and four to write about the darkness.
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TCTELA2015 Poetry

Published on Nov 19, 2015

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The Sound of SenSe

Putting Poetry at the Core of Literacy Instruction
How many poets does it take to change a light bulb?
One to change the bulb and four to write about the darkness.
Photo by DerrickT

@amyrass       @heathercato

Amy Rasmussen  &  Heather Cato
Amy and Heather write with three other teacher-friends at https://threeteacherstalk.wordpress.com/
We'd love for you to join the conversation!

How do you feel about poetry?

Photo by Pavel P.

Are students actively hearing language in your classroom?

The Frost Place Conference on

Poetry and Teaching
Visit www.FrostPlace.org to learn information about the Conference on Poetry and Teaching held annually at the end of June in Franconia, NH.
Photo by Randy Durrum

Morning Workshops

The Talk of Poets

Evening Poetry REadings

Dawn Potter, My Story

Time to Think,

explore, and write

Nothing Quite compares

to reading your own work from inside the barn


is not mechanical; it's focusing.
Dictate: Explain what dictation is and where it came from Baron Wormster. Quote in the handout.

"The Portrait"

Stanley Kunitz
Dictate the poem by Stanley Kunitz, "The Portrait."

Then talk about the words. What did you notice?

"It's about Slowing Down

and feeling the language in your bones."
"It's about slowing down and feeling the language in your bones." David Cappella

"It's kind of a reading aloud to think aloud so you can live out loud." Baron Wormster

DICTATION is a method learned at The Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching: Read a poem slowly as students write it down. The poetry directs our attention and slows our thinking.

"Risk" by Anais Nin

Let's Try One More:
Dictate "Risk" by Anais Nin. This time do not say the line breaks or the punctuation.

And then the day came,
when the risk
to remain tight
in a bud
was more painful
than the dark
it took
to Blossom.

After students write the poem, have them look to see how close they are to the poet's form. This can lead into a discussion about sentences, line breaks, that create pauses. This is a one sentence poem. Why is that interesting?

The next slide is the poem in the correct form.
Photo by Kumaravel

Untitled Slide

One sentence poem.

"Poetry is life in the slow lane."

WHAT SKILLS CAN WE TEACH When we slow down?
"Poetry is life in the slow lane." ~David Cappella

Robert Frost: "The sound of sense. It is the abstract vitality of our speech. It is pure sound--pure form. One who concerns himself with it more than the subject is an artist. But remember we are still talking merely of the raw material of poetry. An ear and an appetite for these sounds of sense is the first qualification of a writer, be it of prose or verse."

Literature as an art form: "authentic and intuitive answers." David Cappella, A SURGE OF LANGUAGE.
Photo by stevendepolo

Does the state give enough flexibility?

Poetry and standards
We can see that we can teach many skills with poetry: conventions, word choice, figurative lang..

Nancy Atwell says she felt she could teach anything with poetry.

But what does the state expect us to do with poetry?
Photo by spelio

Untitled Slide

Based on the standards, is there enough to justify doing a whole poetry unit -- there are only two poetry standard per grade level, essentially: one to read it and one to write it.

Untitled Slide

Poetry and Art

"I want my students to see how art sparks art." ~David Cappella

Link to the Poet Speaks of Art, Emory University
Photo by Philerooski

"Three to Mona Lisa"

by John Stone
1) It is not what she did
at 10 o'clock
last evening
accounts for the smile
It is
that she plans
to do it again
2) Only the mouth
all those years
letting on.
3) It's not the mouth
it's not the eyes
exactly either
it's not even
exactly a smile
But, whatever,
I second the motion.

Visual literacy. Mentor Text Idea. Have students write a poem to a piece of art.

How is poetry an argument?
Let me count the ways.

Photo by Ed Yourdon


Don't take that tone with me
Divide the groups into two sides: hateful vs loving. Each side must read the poem in their tone and then argue, using text support as to why their tone is correct for this particular poem.

Poem XXXIII by E. Dickinson
Poem XXXIV by E. Dickinson
No Second Troy by W.B. Yeats

Photo by Sudhamshu

Revision Workshop

"If you do not play, you will not know."
Explain how to conduct an "I Wonder..." feedback session that prepares students for revision.

there is a blog post about this already.
Photo by Ed Yourdon

Beyond Imitation

"I've Been Known"
~Denise Duhamel

Students learn a lot from mirroring their work with that of a published poet. I like to use poetry for grammar instruction.

Read "I've been known" by Dennis Duhamel. Talk about infinitive phrases and idioms.

Read Jarric's imitation.
Photo by Arry_B

"Creed" by Meg Kearney

as powerful as "this I believe"
Share Meg's Creed poem in the packet and how we might use it to inspire students to write their own "creed" poems.

This is the poem I wrote, modeled after hers that I shared in the Frost barn. Read it. Time permitting.
Photo by harold.lloyd


Thank you!
Photo by DeeAshley