Whether as a form of expression, a way to release thoughts and feelings, or a tool for further comprehension, poetry is language we can all learn to speak. The curriculum unit I have prepared on reading and writing poetry is an attempt to teach my students how to solve information problems, regardless of the content area. Poetry, itself, is often a puzzle to be solved. If 6th and 7th graders can learn to understand poetry and derive meaning from a poem, then those skills can be transferred over to other academic areas.
We will be examining several poets and their work including Gwendolyn Brooks, Pablo Neruda, and Lewis Carroll. The students will also be writing their own poetry throughout the course of the workshop. The program is designed to encourage students to begin making connections between what they read on a page and what they know to be true. Drawing conclusions and making educated assumptions are skills that do not come naturally to adolescents. My intention is to use poetry as a vehicle to cultivate and strengthen my student’s higher order thinking skills and information problem solving strategies.
(Recommended for Language Arts, grades 6-8.)