Discussing Poetry as a Class
Poems are another form of an argument. Although not based on facts and research, poems make a claim about society, emotions, experiences, and anything else the poet decides to convey.
CERCA poetry sets are organized either around one theme such as the Civil War or Nature, or around a poetic form, such as Sonnets or Odes. Although your students at different reading levels will not necessarily be reading poems centered on the same theme in these formative units, they all are built around the same key question that is a perfect opening for classroom discussion. Ask your students to summarize their poems for the class and discuss what insights the speaker provided in his or her poem.
Taking CERCA Outside the Computer Lab
Students always need more practice presenting to the class. Have your students recite their poems. Show video clips of student poetry competitions or audio of authors reading their own work so they can hear the inflection and emotion that goes into a great poetry performance. These recitations can help the students consider the emotion and meaning behind the poem they are reading and build skills in identifying satire, points of emphasis, and rhyme present in poetry. Student performances can also be used for listening and speaking grades.
A source of unlimited poems organized by subject, type, region, time in history, and more so that you can find a poem to fit anything your are working on. The Poetry Foundation also provides engaging biographies of poets and audios of poets reading their own work so that your students can hear the impact of their words.
A great resource for elementary teachers, this site is organized by basic elements of poetry and features interviews with poets about where they get their inspiration from and how they begin to write a poem.
Great tips for learning the art of recitation including physical presence, accuracy, evidence of understanding, and other elements that recitations are commonly judged on. The site also includes great examples of award-winning student recitations.
Abby Ross is Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at ThinkCERCA.