Today’s post is written by guest author Donna Vorreyer, a 35-year veteran middle school teacher and living poet, currently teaching her last year before retirement in grade 6. She has been a presenter for NCTE, IRA, and worked for many years as a workshop leader for the Illinois Writing Project. She has published two poetry collections with Sundress Publications, A House of Many Windows (2013) and Every Love Story is an Apocalypse Story (2016). Her third book Somewhere between Sweet and Grief will be published by Sundress in late 2020. (And since she’ll be retired by then, she’d love to visit #TeachLivingPoets classrooms!) Find her work at http://www.donnavorreyer.com.
When introducing contemporary poems to middle schoolers (ones that don’t necessarily rhyme or fall into easy narratives), their first responses have a tendency to easily fall into one of two categories– the “I don’t get it” category or the “who cares?” category. I wanted to come up with a strategy that did the following: Continue reading
Getting to the Heart of the Matter with Rita Dove
Today’s post is brought to you by guest author Ann Cox. Ann Cox has over twenty years of experience teaching high school English, including AP Literature and Composition, Creative Writing, and Speech. She also spent several years as a teacher consultant for the Illinois State Writing Project. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is the second installment in a series at #TeachLivingPoets. The Poet Laureate Project features a different U.S. Poet Laureate each month during the 2019-2020 school year. I will highlight one or two of their poems, suggest activities to use these pieces in the classroom, and touch upon their contributions to the promotion of poetry in America.
This month’s featured Poet Laureate is Rita Dove. In addition to being the youngest ever U.S. Poet Laureate, she is also a Pulitzer Prize winner and the only poet to receive both the National Humanities Medal and the National Medal of Arts. Continue reading
The idea for this lesson came from Virginian teacher Jen Flisinger. She tweeted pictures of her class doing this activity and shared her directions. You can learn more about Jen on her blog.
I love a poetry activity that:
A) works with any poem
B) encourages a variety of interpretations
C) gets students thinking analytically about specific words
D) asks students to consider how overall meaning is created
This activity fulfills all of these!
Fall is in the air and Kevin Coval has a new book! Fresh on the shelves from Haymarket Books, everything you need to teach Everything Must Go is right here! An illustrated poetry collection about the “life and death of an American neighborhood,” Coval’s poems and Langston Allston’s graphic artwork are guaranteed to engage your students.