Sunday, March 25, 2018

2018 Poem #11 -- Crossing Genre Borders

by Charles Moore

In my experience, and maybe in yours as well, our students do not connect to non-fiction on the same level that they do with poetry.

I decided to try to address this lack of connection by using poetry to show how connected we can be with our reading lives.

Our unit would give us the opportunity to explore the research process, and we began by reading reviews.  We looked at a video game review, a movie review, a piece by Leonard Pitts and this review  that weighs the merits of our current poetry culture.

The students can notice important parts of the articles and respond to them with their thinking but they could not even fake an emotional connection to the articles no matter how hard I pushed.

We talk about poetry often in my classroom.  It is easy for me to ask the kids to respond to a poem in their writers’ notebooks, and I see them pour their thinking on to pages.  The connections they make are incredible.  They are good at it.

So I began one day with this poem, posted on Instagram by Rupi Kaur:

We talked about the poem and they noticed how it drove their thinking on an emotional level.

We talked about that reaction. Specifically, we examined how texts other than poetry can have an impact on us.  We talked about trying to use this type of connection in our reading of non-fiction texts.  

As we reached back to non-fiction, we were able to make deeper and more meaningful connections to the text, and it showed in our writing.

Don’t be afraid to leverage poetry in the instruction of other types of writing.  No matter what we think of this current generation of learners, poetry reaches them like it reaches those that came before them. 

Further Reading:

Charles Moore teaches Senior English in League City, TX.  His daily poetry picks are the most fun part of his lesson planning. 

No comments:

Post a Comment