Magazine article NATE Classroom

Teaching Poetry

Magazine article NATE Classroom

Teaching Poetry

Article excerpt

Teaching Poetry

Amanda Naylor and Audrey B Wood

Routledge 2012

ISBN 9780415585682

Paperback 22.99 [pounds sterling]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

This book takes a stance with which this reviewer agrees most strongly. The authors wish to emphasise pupils' engagement with poetry rather than a study of poetry; getting into rather than looking at. (Prepositions are so important!) The preface sums it up neatly: 'We suggest ways to move away from a model of teaching poetry from the front, where the teacher explains meanings that pupils passively accept, to an active approach where pupils are able to access the ideas behind the poetry, enabling them to make their own meanings and respond to the poetry on a personal level.' Further on, they state that in the former method, the teacher is the 'keeper' of the poem, the children merely 'rent' it, for the poem is not theirs to 'mess around in'. This is music to my ears.

Where this book differs from other guides to working with poetry is in its theoretical grounding. The first two chapters and the beginning of most others comprise summaries of critical theory which some readers may find sits somewhat awkwardly in a book whose aim is primarily practical, but I found it stimulating and helpful. …

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