Over the past few weeks I have been working on my “Teaching the Genre” presentation. I first began my research by reading chapter 7 on “Poetry Writing” in Tompkins (2012), and was amazed at the variety of poems students can create; it is a way for them to use their imagination and make “…vivid word pictures, powerful images, and touching emotional expressions” (Tompkins, 2012). As an educator, I struggle with teaching poetry because I am never certain of the best way to implement instruction. However after reading this chapter and discussing with my group, I have developed a deeper understanding of how to incorporate poetry into the classroom.
I believe the best way to begin poetry writing is to show students a variety of examples; for instance, it was extremely helpful when Dr. Jones illustrated her poem, “If I Were In Charge Of the World”, before we wrote our own. They provide students with clarity and assist the teacher in providing clear expectations of the writing piece. I find it very beneficial to know that you can implement poetry writing in writing workshop in order to allow students to focus on a particular type of poetry. There are so many forms, and I think it is easiest to introduce them one at a time. In addition, writing workshop lets students draft, revise, edit, and assess their own progress on their poetry pieces.
It is important to me, as an educator, to not discourage my students from writing poetry because I am not comfortable with it. Tompkins (2012) believes that “…everyone can learn to write poems successfully” (p. 177). As a result, I need to step outside of my comfort zone and work as a team with my students to develop poetry writing in the classroom. Tompkins provides an array of formulated poems, which aid in structuring students’ poetic writing. This is helpful to me as a teacher, to break down the process of writing poetry and take it one step at a time. Dr. Jones even showed us we can begin with a graphic organizer in order to organize and jot down our ideas before writing.
There are many helpful digital tools teachers can use to assist their students in generating poetry. In my future classroom, I look forward to using “instant poetry forms”, where students can choose from more than 60 kinds of poetry and add words into a blank format. This will be extremely helpful for students who enjoy using a computer over writing on paper. I am learning more and more as I continue my research, and I am excited to share my findings with my peers. My goal for this project is to show them how to incorporate poetry writing into their own classrooms and help them feel confident in teaching it.
Tompkins, G. E. (2012). Teaching writing: Balancing process and product (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill