Monday, March 19, 2012

Poetry as a Medium

Poetry is useful for all of its connections that can be made to the curriculum and to fulfill standards, but it also has the power to open minds to different thought patterns or ways of describing emotional and other experiences. Students will be able to personally connect with the combination of words that they will hear, read, and most importantly, be in conversation about. The conversation will force students in a subtle way to hear and make sense of others' interpretations of the poetry.

The ambiguity of language is a main point that should be adressed, and this idea that the words from a poem and the way that they are combined and arranged can mean very different things to different people, will show my students that differences exist in the understandings that they each have, but no interpretation is the correct one. No one will know what exactly a poem is saying unless they are the poet, therefore bringing up the magic of this type of literature. It carries with it the facility to unify a classroom through shared dialogue that brings mutual understandings that everyone is unique in but valued for their interpretation of poetry, and therefore unique in and valued for their culture, beliefs, appearances, and other realms of differences.

Having said that, the ways that poetry can be incorporated into a classroom are many: one of these ways is through choral reading. A teacher can give an example of how a poem can be read aloud and then spur conversation on how this poem can be read as a class, emphasizing word volume, speed, and pauses that are important to the meaning of the poem. Students can then break into groups and decide in their groups how they will perform a poem of their choice. Once again, confidence in feeling proud of themselves will come from this activity, and it will promote the ability to work as a team and include each students' input in the final product.

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