There are so many different ways to teach poetry. Some teachers like to stick to reading free form and having students comprehend the text as a whole. Some teachers want to get more technical and talk about lines, stanzas, and reasons why different rhyme schemes are chosen. Regardless of how you are teaching poetry, here are some tips for getting your students excited about poetry!
Teaching Poetry with a Theme
Sometimes it’s great to use poetry in your classroom that simply relates to a theme or time of the year. For example, monthly poetry is a great way to introduce poetry at the start of each month or on days that are special to the year. Below, is an example of a monthly themed poem, as well as a free sample to use in your classroom!
Click here for a free spring poem 🙂
Use Poetry to Teach a Specific Skill
Sometimes poems can be used to teach about something. It can be as simple as wilderness, empathy, kindness, grief, or even history! In this example below, poetry is being used to teach about the American Presidents!
Click here for full resource.
Use Poetry to Teach Figurative Language
What better way to teach what exactly figurative language is than through the use of poetry? One way to do this is to point out figurative language in poems. Start with similes and metaphors, then move on to more figurative language such as idioms and hyperboles. In the example below, I’ve shown a way you can teach figurative language by basing each poem on the figurative language itself! Click here for more figurative language poetry!
Just Read it and Feel it
This is of course the most important. Being able to read poetry for the enjoyment of reading. We want to read to students a wide variety of poetic texts that get students thinking and feeling. Many times when I start poetry units I will have students close their eyes and afterward, I will say, “tell me what you’re feeling.” The feeling poetry leaves you with will lend itself to teaching students about mood which is a great place to start!
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