Sharing a Favorite Poem
- Grades: 9–12
My goal is to increase student reading of poetry and to encourage both interpretation and fluency of poetry. Poetry is a featured genre on our state assessment, but more importantly, poetry can be a perfect vehicle for teaching many lessons in both reading and writing. In order to play that role, however, we must entice students to read it!
I've found that giving students the role to choose the poems creates much more engagement than if I choose the poems, although I do sometimes share one of my favorites. Students choose a favorite poem from a variety of poetry books in the classroom or library. Poetry sharing time is scheduled each week and we all look forward to what will be shared. Sharing is optional, but students often encourage each other to share and sometimes students will read a poem chorally.
I use the following poetry question stems to prompt analysis and discussion of shared poems:
- What does the title tell you abut the poem?
- Who is the narrator and what is the relationship with other characters of the poem?
- What is one theme of this poem? What lines in the poem make you think that?
- Can you make a connection between this poem and your own experience? Between this poem and something else you have read? Between this poem and some other idea?
- What do you think the author might have wanted you to feel or think when you read this poem?
- Is there any unusual language in this poem? Why do you think the author uses this language? What mood or tone is conveyed?