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If you search on line, are

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If you search on line, are many lists of "20 Days of Poetry" and "30 Days of Poetry" that I have found to be helpful for planning, and great for kids. This is a good one from Mr. Graham: http://www.trimble.k12.ky.us/tchsweb/teachers/jgraham/ENGIhelp_files/Poe...

passionate about cross-curricular integration

Many times students (well,

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Many times students (well, all people) gain appreciation for what they NEED only when they consider it in the context of what they WANT. They may not think they need poetry until they consider how much they want good songs. I'd say that many students already like to quote relevant verses, critique artists, emulate rhythm or style, relate entire anthologies to various worldviews, and collect the work of their favorite masters. They also tend to revel in themes such as beauty/ugliness, acceptance/rejection, love/hate, leisure/work, hope/despair, and evil/justice. But when asked to use these same skills to analyze elements of poetry or literature, many teens become tone deaf. Yet a love of songs can usher students into a literary universe far beyond the confines of their mp3 earbuds.

If you like my premise, at the risk of seeming pushy (& to keep this comment from going on forever), you may like some of the teaching materials I offer at http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Well-Versed-Unit-1-Poetry-Cri...

Early childhood teacher, writer, life-long learner

Life is poetry in motion.

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Life is poetry in motion. Love the poetry you share with children, and they will share your love of poetry. Children whose lives have not been enriched by poetry have been shortchanged in the education they have received.

Community Manager at Edutopia

Both the blog post and

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Both the blog post and Shelby's comment make an important point, which is that poetry is alive. Yes, it's important to learn the tools and techniques of writing powerful poetry, but not at the expense of the joy of it.

This seems like an appropriate place to share Billy Collins's Introduction to Poetry:

http://www.loc.gov/poetry/180/001.html

Education Specialist

Do we all prefer comfort &

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Do we all prefer comfort & familiarity? It seems we have a divide over human nature though I'm always glad to hear from people with a slightly divergent position who agree w/ the basic tenet that we are born curious & do not need an adult to "motivate" or "engage" kids. Children will learn where to direct their talents by exploring as they see fit, in the experience of Free Schools children will ultimately try a wide variety of what life has to offer, thankfully this has become easier in the age of the internet. I certainly encourage my students & children to explore poetry when they show an interest, however in honesty, I for one have never found poetry interesting, probably b/c of my nerdy infatuation w/ solely non-fiction elongated prose.

Teaching Artist, Choreographer, and Dancer

Natural Learners Need Guidance

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I agree completely that we are naturally curious. Often we have the curious and the creative driven out of us by the factory school system. Children will indeed stretch themselves, but only in directions they prefer. We all prefer comfort and familiarity, but those things are also nearly always fatal to creativity and innovation. Children cannot be expected to know where to direct their talents until they try a wide variety of what life has to offer. And that includes, in my opinion, poetry.

Education Specialist

I respectfully disagree with

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I respectfully disagree with the premise that educators must "stretch them beyond their comfort zones"; there is concept, "homo curaous" which contends that we are all born inquisitive learners, the world around us will stretch us, particularly in a day and age of the internet. Our job as educators thus becomes to support children exploring their areas of interest and/or talents which will naturally push far beyond our wildest dreams of stretching.

Teaching Artist, Choreographer, and Dancer

Everyone has to try at least once

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It's great to indulge student preference and choice, but it is also important that we help them stretch beyond their comfort zones. Everyone certainly has the "right" not to engage in any pursuit, but in a school setting, everyone also has the obligation to learn what they can from everything, regardless of personal preference.

Education Specialist

What happens to the child who

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What happens to the child who is more prose minded, or the student who prefers to create a video than to write/recite a poem? For the majority of our kids these ideas are a wonderful means of reaching out to their interests/skills, but let us not forget that all our children's interests/talents demand our respect, including the right to not engage in poetry. By all means we as educators can share our own interests/talents and perhaps inspire our children, just dont let it become a mandate hypocritical to the creative spirit of poetry.

Teaching Artist, Choreographer, and Dancer

Since poetry is so

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Since poetry is so kinesthetic, it melds beautifully with creative dance. Try having your students choose poems that have a lot of movement potential and choreograph them in small, collaborative groups. A very nice added benefit is that you can ask them to share their dances without the text and let the observing students write poems from what they see. Then the choreographers can share their dance again, this time with the original text. You could even video the dance and try one or more of the student-written poems as dubbed-over sound to see how the choreography works with various texts. It's a natural and easy connection to make, and as you say, even the boys get into it because of the athletic challenges.

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