In this unit I have presented a method of teaching poetry which I hope is as rewarding for you as it has been for me. I am presenting a method of teaching poetry which requires students to read a much higher level of poetry than their literature book or reading text may require. The poems are selected by theme and in each thematic unit the students are encouraged both to talk and write about their feelings about the poems read and discussed. There is no right or wrong answer because the emphasis is on how the individual student perceives the piece of literature. The students are asked to mimic the poetry forms, if necessary, and to write original poetry similar to the ones presented in the thematic unit. The students are required to keep, re-edit and update any unfinished works in poetry journals and portfolios, and to share their finished works in a special presentation time established by the teacher. I feel that this unit, though written specifically for use with poetry, can extend itself to all genres of literature in the classroom thus creating a classroom environment in which writing is both expected and highly valued.
(Recommended for Remedial Reading, grades 6-8, and English/Language Arts, grades 4-9)