It has been awhile. Teaching, grad school, working on my novel, and submitting my children's book for publication have made for one extremely busy year! I wanted to come back with a topic that is very near and dear to my heart - the teaching of poetry.
It seems poetry has become somewhat of an endangered species lately due to the adoption of the Common Core State Standards, but the fact is that nothing could be further from the truth. One thing I have learned about standards is this - they are most definitely in the eye of the interpreter.
Resources to Help You Meet Common Core Using Poetry
- Poetry Out Loud - A personal favorite of mine. Poetry Out Loud now offers CCSS alignment complete with a downloadable Teacher's Guide, links to Teacher Resources and Preparation, Lesson Plans and Class Scheduling, and Accessibility. If you haven't checked out this program, I highly recommend you do so - IMMEDIATELY. If you have any doubt, take a look at these students competing in the Poetry Out Loud recitation competition:
- Teaching Channel is a great source of inspiration and ideas. The video I chose to link to not only meets CCSS, but also showcases a very innovative way to approach poetry in an unusual pre-reading exercise.
- Poets.org presents educators with an interesting plan submitted by Madeline Fuchs-Holzer for grades 9-12 that approaches the study of poetry through its use in film. Crossing media boundaries, these lesson plans address reading, writing, and listening and speaking CCSS. The site also has a plethora of Common Core aligned poetry lessons and workshops that are both engaging and original.
- Feeling overwhelmed or uncomfortable with the prospect of teaching poetry? Ben Curran at Education Week offers a great article about aligning poetry to the Common Core that is easy to follow and understand for educators who may be hesitant about how poetry fits into the world of CCSS.
- In much the same vein, EDSITEment! uses poetry exemplars, CCSS, lesson plans, and multimedia resources to provide educators with both the means and the way to meet Common Core Standards through poetry with ideas for all grade levels K-12.
- Looking for exemplars that meet the requirements for Common Core? The Poetry Foundation has assembled all the exemplars from the CCSS for ELA: Appendix B for all grade levels K-12 in one place.
- Finally, while I am not a huge fan of text books, this offering from Heinneman is pretty useful (and best of all, FREE). Written for teachers in the middle grades, it is a fine resource for breaking down the CCSS and seeing exactly how each one fits into the study of poetry. It also uses a decent selection of poetry to show the literary devices featured in each one, touches on poetry annotation, and provides activities for pre-, during, and post-reading that could easily be applied to any poem at any grade level.