How to Teach Poetry Writing: Workshops for Ages 8-13

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How to teach poetry writing: workshops for ages 8-13

Michaela Morgan

David Fulton/Routledge 2011

ISBN 9780415590143

104 pages 19.99 [pounds sterling]

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This is a great book--and not just for those teaching 8-13 year olds. Those teaching KS1 and 4 could learn a lot from the lively and thoughtful approaches promoted by Michaela.

It starts with all the right noises. The very first statement recommends we begin with 'Reading, hearing and enjoying poetry' and goes on to encourage poetry collections, performances and poet visits. Indeed the Introduction is worth the price of the book on its own.

Although the book has an A to Z, which can make one's heart sink, it avoids the more tedious and pedantic poetic terms. It goes as far as oxymoron which is where we should all call a halt till A level in my opinion and, instead of zeugma, has 'Zest, zap and zing!' Quite useful, in fact.

The meat of the book lies in its 18 detailed 'workshops' starting with 'Performing Poetry' and finishing with 'Challenging Narrative Poetry'. In between there are workshops on topics ranging from concrete poetry, to personification, to different cultures and voices. I like the way the book presents 'workshops' rather than lessons, which means teachers can take the ideas and interpret them in whatever form they prefer (or whatever form their school insists on, if they are unfortunate). …