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As a young woman of colour in a world where white, male delectations are treated as the definitive barometer of taste, Kaur speaks a truth that the literary establishment is unlikely to understand. Even the most sincere critique of her work can slide from healthy debate into vicious attack at the turn of a page. Frankly, the literary world is saturated with white male voices of dubious quality. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Topics Poetry Books blog. Reuse this content. Order by newest oldest recommendations. Show 25 25 50 All. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded.

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Throughout the process students can review each others' work and offer suggestions and feedback. In this lesson plan , teacher Glori Chaika describes an activity in which students invented their own poetry form at the end of the year, and then had to describe how to write poems in their form to their classmates. While form is important when writing poetry, there is much more to it.

Poetry offers the opportunity to explore an idea and emotion, to describe a special place or object that we take for granted, and create an image that others will be able experience. For this reason, I think it helps to incorporate some instructional strategies that will help students develop these skills.

It may help get those creative juices flowing by doing some activities such as the ones suggested by teacher Faith Vicinanza. One of the activities involves students imagining that they are something else such as "a drop of rain, the color blue, a school bus, or a stalk of wheat. Another good way to begin warming up to writing poetry is to ask students to close their eyes and go through a guided visualization.

Instruct the students to think of a place. Is it indoors or outdoors? What do you see and hear? What colors and sounds? Are people there? What are they doing? How do they feel? How do you feel? When the students open their eyes they can draw the picture they formed in their head and then explain it to a partner. In this exercise, students begin to practice focusing on the process of visualization, and formulate the vocabulary they will need to add description and emotion to their poetry.

A quick warm-up for students before writing is the box toss. Make a little box and write words on all the outside surfaces of the box. You could also put post-it notes words on the sides in order to re-use the box. Students sit in a circle and take turns tossing the box or passing it around. The teacher gives the students a task using the word that is visible when the box is caught. For example, the teacher might tell the student to list three adjectives describing their word, and if another person gets the same word, they will have to think of three new adjectives.

Or the teacher might ask them to think of two words that rhyme with the box, or to say the first thing they think of when they see that word. It is really an activity to get students thinking creatively and quickly about words, and to emphasize that writing poetry is about expression not being perfect. I like to use this technique to model how to revise a poem to make it more specific and interesting.

The beauty of poetry is finding just the right words and putting them together to create a picture or emotion. I put the following poem on the board. I woke up. It was a nice day. I was happy.

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I ask the students if they like my poem. Some are too polite to say, "No. They think of things like "opened my eyes," "gorgeous" or "thrilled. I have the students compare the two poems and then discuss why the second poem is more interesting. We practice with more vocabulary words and put them on a continuum of general to more specific. For example: Good — happy — ecstatic.

This is an excellent time to introduce the Thesaurus and how to use it. I taught my students how to use the Thesaurus with some music activities. I played a variety of music selections with my students and asked them to write all the vocabulary words that came to mind as they listened. One piece was sad and slow, one was cheerful, and one was a loud hard rock number. After the students had finished listening, I had them work in small groups to share their words and discuss any new vocabulary. As a class we discussed how each word may have a slightly different meaning such as the difference between "sad," "mournful," and "despondent.

I then reinforced the importance of knowing the meaning of the words because the Thesaurus may list words that have different meanings from each other. For example, the word "connected" might have words listed that could have different meanings such as "linked" or "related.

Verse goes viral: how young feminist writers are reclaiming poetry for the digital age

Discussing songs and song-writing can complement a poetry lesson nicely, and may be of particular interest to students who enjoying listening to music and thinking about lyrics. Here are some ideas of how to use songs and music in your poetry instruction. Another wonderful thing about teaching poetry is that it can be easy to share with others! Students can read it out loud at a poetry reading or family night event, or you post can student poems on the wall. In her blog entry on poetry and ELLs on Scholastic's website, Andrea Spillett shares a great idea from one of her colleagues — he collects a poem from each student, and then binds all of the poems together in a book that he gives his students at the end of the year.

The Academy of American Poets offers some other great ideas, publishing student poetry in your school's newspaper or magazine, holding student poetry workshops or a student poetry reading at the local library or bookstore. I encourage you to check out some of the Hotlinks for more resources and ideas on how to explore poetry writing with your students.

You never know what their creative minds will come up with, and what they'll learn about themselves in the process! Spillette, Andrea. Author Interviews Meet your favorite authors and illustrators in our video interviews. Book Finder Create your own booklists from our library of 5, books! Themed Booklists Dozens of carefully selected booklists, for kids years old.

Nonfiction for Kids Tips on finding great books, reading nonfiction and more. Skip to main content. You are here Home. Writing Poetry with English Language Learners. By: Kristina Robertson. This article discusses strategies for writing poetry with ELLs, presents an overview of poetry forms that can be used effectively in writing lessons, and suggests some ideas for ways to share student poetry. I cannot quite imagine How my poem's supposed to be — I've got a sinking feeling I'm not good at poetry. Here are some suggestions for getting started: Read a variety of poems first.

I would recommend a couple of different kinds of poems before assigning any writing activities. For more ideas on how to start a unit on poetry, be sure to take a look at Introducing and Reading Poetry with English Language Learners.


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She has chestnut-colored hair, old fashioned Clara Bow lips, moist brown eyes… arms outstretched, head thrown back she glides toward me and into her seventh decade. They were spraying Pepsi and moth-juice on the fire.

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The mosquitoes, lawn flies and moths dove, flashed and were painlessly consumed. There was applause …we entered. And while my wife was kissed, they clapped me on the back. They wanted to know that I was there. And then I kissed them down their throats, choked and knew that they were there. And after I had kissed those who had kissed my wife, and after they kissed me, we sprayed one another, scratched and dove after the moths. We flashed, painlessly, and emerged to munch the ashes, coals to sip moth juice, lemon juice and gin. And again we clapped one another laughed, kissed, sipped, puffed and swallowed cigarettes.

The cat-girl would not believe in it and crouched there pained, purring with the pups; their tails were remarkably alike and neither pronounced upon events with them.

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Someone found Lil, the wife of no one, buried beside the spit. She wanted a martini; we obliged, and then reburied her. The sky was rainbow strips of chrome, clouds and the sun, the great, archetypal Ford: pork-sauced and on the suburban spit of heaven. We all stared, climbed upon our spit, and then dove in after the moths. The fire was a Ford, without chrome, pure as gin, as cream dip, moths or spray, death and we sang to it: its attaining to heaven, to Lil, to space, ourselves and the archetypal Ford. There was Mars, the suburban star of barbecue.

The party had somehow failed. It was time for gin and time for light! The women hid beside the flames, the way they flickered through their eyes. I kept trying to put my tongue. I bit them. And they cried with half their tongues munching diamonds and spades.


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Suddenly the women screamed. The moon burst through, revealing their husbands, the pup-girl. My wife and I sipped gin. I was Bernie, and she the moths. Uncle dog sat there me-beside-him emptying nothing. Barely even looking from garbage side to side:. Like rich people in the backseats of chauffeur-cars, only shaggy in an unwagging tall-scrawny way. Uncle dog belonged any just where he sat, but old Mr. Garbage man had to stop at every single can.