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3 week intro to poetry

For what it's worth, this is one example syllabus for a poetry course I have taught for several years for 10th grade students. I have only included the bare outline, since grading and goals might vary greatly from one course to the next. Ultimately, my goal is for students to gain a basic understanding of form and learn to play with language. I present examples of each form, we recite poetry as a group, and practice reading and writing every day. Each class period is about 100 minutes.

I am happy to discuss any aspect of teaching poetry for those interested. Feel free to send me a message on this site.

Tentative schedule with assignments listed on their due dates:

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Wk 1 intro
Choose poem for presentation
Wk 2 Pantoum/Villanelle
Concrete Poem/ Sound Poem
TH/F Sound Paper due
Poetry Paper
Wk 3 Original Poem Presentations Poem Presentations Performance
Portfolios due at the beginning of class
no class

Homework and In-Class Assignments
            6. Write at least one of each of the following poems

  1. a limerick or haiku
  2. a ballad or sonnet
  3. a pantoum or a villanelle
  4. a concrete poem or a sound poem
  5. an original poem where you choose the form (free verse, blank verse, prose, slam, ballad, sonnet, villanelle, pantoum, sestina – discuss other possibilities with me)

            4. In-class writing exercises
            7. Write a thoughtful description of the sound you present in class (letters marked in bold throughout the schedule)
            5. Memorize a poem, present it to the class, with a short biography (approved by me)
            3. Perform at least one poem on our Final Friday Poetry Roundup performance
            1. Additional poems and linguistic gymnastics may be added as needed
            8. Write a paper on poetry, its meaning, and its mechanics.
            Your portfolio should include at least
            2. Each of your original poems
            2. Your favorite poem from another author (presented in class or otherwise)
            2. A paper describing poetry and its forms
            2. A careful description of the sound you present in class
            2. Your in-class writing exercises, neatly written
            2. All your handouts

Looks great!