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Showing posts from October, 2008

Try Writing a LUNE

Lunes are poems in a package. They are not limited to specific subject which makes then different to haiku. They have no necessary association with nature or seasons.

Their structure is :

Three lines
First line – 3 words
Second line – 5 words
Third line – 3 words

Example:

Think of me
As a ballerina quietly twirling
Around the neighborhood


From the clifftop
I sang silly love songs
To the moon

When I laugh
No sound  leaves my mouth
Is that sad?

Your Lunes become more interesting if you can provide a surprise ending in the final line.

Children enjoy writing Lunes because the structure makes it easy for them to participate in writing poetry and there is a high degree of success.

Rhyme Within Reason

Poetry is an extremely flexible writing form. It is easily weaved into our writing programs across the year as opposed to just being pigeon holed into a specific unit of work. Poetry offers a unique response to literature -fiction or non fiction. Such is the flexible nature of poetry.

That our classrooms are filled with poetry that is enjoyable to listen to or fun to read is important, but it may not necessarily provide the best models for writing. From an early age children have much exposure to a significant amount of rhyming verse. However, when young writers attempt to create their own rhyming verses it often sounds forced or clunky to the ear. They begin to suffer ‘ the moon in June with a spoon ‘ syndrome!

The writer becomes more focused on findings words that rhyme rather than attending to meaning. The end result often has little or nothing to say. It’s ho hum. We need to direct them towards an understanding that word choice is critical to being an effective writer.

As an alte…

Killing Off Poetry

Somewhere between kindergarten and high school we lose all those potential poetry fans, and the answer to this seems simple. It happens because teachers stop writing, reading and performing poetry and begin to merely focus on dissecting and analysing it. They chop it into tiny pieces. So tiny are those pieces that one can no longer hear the rhythm and the rhyme. It concerns me greatly that in too many classrooms the teaching of poetry has been reduced to a clinical examination- The poem as autopsy. This dissecting of wondrous words is undertaken by teachers who lack a basic understanding of the poet’s simple desire to be shared.

The pleasure that previously took place with poetry performance evaporates. Disenchanted students are asked to search for hidden meanings and obscure symbolism. It takes little time before poetry becomes dull and tarnished. Those once eager young fans gradually drift away. The essential fact that we learn to write by actually writing is lost in the process.

Moi…

The Poet's Suitcase

If we want students to view poetry books with a sense of enthusiastic anticipation we need to alert them to its potential. If we want students to have an answer to the question “ And tell me, who is your favorite poet?” then we must expose them to the world of poetry and its various forms.

In exposing our students to poetry we need to let them hear poetry, see poetry and feel the impact that poetry can have on the reader and listener. When we take this approach, students will begin to develop personal tastes in poetry. They will speak with authority about their preferred poets; their preferred styles. They will begin to truly know poetry.

In The Beginning…
When beginning this journey I frequently conduct a workshop where I provide a poetry taste test for students to sample a range of poetic forms. I present a feast of favorites, a smorgasbord of stanzas from which curious readers may select.

The Poet’s Suitcase

To facilitate this poetry tasting I bring my poet’s suitcase into the classroom…