Mentor Monday 4/7/2014-Teacher Resources for Teaching Poetry

Why does Monday always seem to come so quickly!?  At least I have Mentor Text Monday to look forward to.  :)

This week’s topic is “Teacher Resources for Teaching Poetry.”  I don’t know about you, but teaching poetry can be scary.  It is just so personal and while I can help students analyze poems and look for certain writing skills in a poem, writing it (and teaching kids to write it) isn’t always easy.  So, I look to my mentors to help me out.  One of my biggest writing mentors is Ralph Fletcher.  He is one of my go-to authors for many writing topics, but he has also written a book JUST about poetry.   
In this book, he describes how to help you make a poem “sound the way you want it to sound.”  He even promises NOT to analyze any poems, but rather “light the spark” about poetry for kids.  Besides just sharing some of his poetry examples, he also shares those of students (even the bad ones) so teachers (and students) can see how to make them better.  He also interviews two poets for ideas.  While this book doesn’t give you a bunch of lesson plans or printables, it definitely gives you some great ideas!
Another great mentor text comes from Jack Prelutsky, one of my favorites!  He has a book that helps show how you can write poetry and how to get ideas.  It is called Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry:  How To Write a Poem.  He shares many personal stories along the way, so it would also be a great book for teaching memoirs (or writing memoir poems!).  

 

 Another resource I have (and love) is a book of Graphic Organizers for writing poems.  This book has great lessons, poem examples, and graphic organizers to get the kids started.  While it does include some of the staples that most of us have taught throughout the years (haiku, acrostic, limerick, etc.), it also includes more “non-traditional” poetry types (Blues poem, rap poem, made-up-word poem, etc.).  This is one of the biggest reasons I like the book!  I think we (teachers) sometimes teach the same type over and over and kids think there are only a few types of poems.  By using some of the poetry lessons from this book, we can help show them that poems can be written about anything and in many different forms.  
What are your go-to poetry teacher resources?  What kind of poem is your favorite?  I would love to hear from you!
Until next time,

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