#2ndaryELA Chat Summary Topic: Poetry

January 12, 2016

Middle and High School English Language Arts teachers discussed important skills and terms when teaching poetry, favorite poems, student writing, and how to appeal to those students who don't like or don't "get" poetry. Join secondary English Language Arts teachers Tuesday evenings at 8 pm EST on Twitter.

This #2ndaryELA Twitter chat was all about teaching poetry in the ELA classroom. Middle and High School English Language Arts teachers discussed important skills and terms when teaching poetry, favorite poems, student writing, and how to appeal to those students who don't like or don't "get" poetry. The highlights are below.

Important Skills & Terms to Teach
*Word Choice
*Imagery
*Close reading
*Different tropes
*Tone
*Mood
*Figurative language
*Digging for deeper meaning
*Theme
*Syntax
*Structure
*sound devices

Favorite Poets & Poems
*Ozymandias
*Anything by Frost
*The Christening by Simon Armitage
* T.S. Eliot
*Sylvia Plath
*Neil Gaiman
*Slam! Poetry like Sarah Kay
*My Papa's Waltz
*Anything by Tennyson
*Sherman Alexie
*Introduction to Poetry by Billy Collins
*How to Eat a Poem by Eve Merriam
*Hanging Fire by Audre Lorde
*Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
*The Road Not Taken
*Jabberwocky
*Emily Dickinson
*e.e. cummings
*William Carlos Williams
*Annabel Lee
*Paul Revere's Ride
*Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owens
*Chicago by Sandburg
*Gwendolyn Brooks

Incorporating Student Writing
*Using coming of age poems as mentor texts was a great way to get to know students
*Create "found poetry" from literature and informational texts
*Use "structured" poems (fill-in-the-blankish) for students who "can't write poetry." For example, after reading "Ego Tripping" by Nikki Giovanni, students use allusions to show how "bad" they are.
*Try out different forms and create a poetry portfolio: concrete, free form/biographic, narrative, haiku, diamante, etc.

Getting Creative to Draw Students In
*Participate in Poetry Out Loud, a recitation contest
*Use this TED Talk comparing hip-hop and Shakespeare
*Hold a Poetry Cafe
*Compare poems to song lyrics like "Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes and "Dear Mama" by Tupac
*Create blackout poetry
*Show animated poems
*Use this pre-reading strategy to look at individual words before seeing the poem as a whole
*Do a "Hip Hop or Harlem Renaissance" activity comparing poetry to hip hop & rap lyrics, where students have to guess which is which
*Create a tic-tac-toe choice board of poems to read

For more poetry resources:



Hope you'll join us next Tuesday night, January 19th at 8pm EST to active engagement in the classroom. The questions for our next chat will be posted here on Sunday. We'd also love for you to join our 2ndaryELA Facebook group (even if you aren't on Twitter). 2ndaryELA is a group of middle and high school English Language Arts teachers looking to share ideas and best practices. This group is an extension of our Twitter chat and a place for collaboration, questions, and encouragement. Feel free to post teaching ideas, success stories, resource links, photos, etc. that will enhance our instruction. If you missed this most recent chat, scroll down and read the whole thing below.

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