Slice of Life: Poetry Teaching Points

It’s April, and I’m writing a poem a day.  Poems are hiding in my writing notebook. Tucked away. For me. It’s about volume. Not perfection.

Like me, the classroom writing turns towards poetry. The openness of poetry allows for lots of possible. And with that kids can feel uncertain. It’s scary. Not always pretty. Shaky ground.

I know what I want. I want to them to find meaning and soak up poems.  To wordplay. To make color happen on the page and find white space. To not be afraid.

To do that, I start with a plan that grew out of TCRWP’s poetry unit of study and a bit of Ralph Fletcher. It will be an adventure!

Poetry Teaching Points
Poets notice
Poets walk, look, and realize.

Poets collect
that hide in notebooks
turn jots into drafts
Poets circle, a line, a paragraph, and mold it.

Poets reflect
I’m writing about this because . . .  
This is important because . . .
I used to think . . .
But I learned . . .
So now I think . . .
I want my reader to feel or think . . .
One thing that may be missing here is . . . .

Poets find
an image
the setting
an object.
Poets choose words, a surprising detail
add emotion, create mood and evoke a reaction.

Poets say
Poets close their eyes and picture.


Thank you, Two Writing Teachers for Slice of Life Tuesdays. Love to all that slice and those who venture into poetry. Read more slice here.




11 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Poetry Teaching Points

  1. Your post about poets and poetry is powerful. That’s a lot of alliteration eh?
    I agree that the importance of noticing details,capturing them and molding them into new pictures is part of what makes poetry so special to each poet!

  2. Discovering poetry nuggets in their notebooks and the tools of a poet will be a challenge but what an awesome discovery! This study will change thinking. That final stanza says it all.

  3. Steeping our students in poetry this month is both inspiring and lasting. They carry this with them. They can always be a poet.

  4. I love that you wrote your poem about the lessons you wish for students. This: “I used to think . . .
    But I learned . . .
    So now I think . . . ” They will remember this time with you, Julieanne!

  5. Just as we can’t all pick up a musical instrument and play it, we can’t all see the world as poets do. It takes time…and patience. Make sure not to leave poetry behind when you move on to the next thing. Instead, make it a familiar feature of your classroom that you turn to regularly for inspiration. In time, they will catch the spirit! Kudos to you for making the effort with your students.

  6. Poetry is a slippery slope compared to the steady, flat plane of the five-sentence-paragraph. Thanks for sharing your poem with us today!

  7. Beautiful poem and post, Julieanne. Steeping our students in poetry is so important, this month and all year long. Isn’t it amazing what you see when you start look at the world with the eyes of a poet?

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