Teaching Poetry: A Better Way

As a poet, I'm not shy about sharing my own poems for teaching purposes in the classroom, and if you teach, you shouldn't be, either. Yes, my work is published, but that doesn't matter. I shared my poems before I was published, and you can, too. Students like seeing their teacher's own work, and it's …

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Teaching an Imitation Poem with “The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee”

Once they leave the elementary grades, students are typically loath to write poetry. One way to get them to do so is to use a template based on well-known poem. I get good results with N. Scott Momaday’s “The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee.” To start, I read the poem and discuss it like you would any …

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Writing Workshop: 10 Holiday Poetry Prompts

Today is the Winter Solstice, the official day for holiday poetry prompts. Yes, it's winter for all of us northern hemisphere types and officially summer for all of those people laughing at us from the southern hemi. Are we jealous? No. We have writing to do, and enough cozy indoors to do it in. Here …

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Three Reading Mysteries of Life

Three reading mysteries of life: Kids love to be read to and mostly love reading--until around ages 11 or 12, when interest in reading plummets for most of them. What gives? Why? Is it the "adult" poking forward, elbowing the "child" into the background? Is it the oncoming angst of adolescence? Is it their teachers …

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