When I taught Pre-AP and on-level English 2, I devoted the start of each Thursday’s class to a poem. Nothing intimidating. Just some quick reading and discussion. Maybe a tiny bit of analysis. Once a nine weeks, I might invite students to imitate the poem through writing. Too many students (and teachers!) are intimidated by poetry, and I love discovering what poetry can do through only a couple of lines. I relied a lot on American Life in Poetry and The Writer’s Almanac for beautiful, accessible poems for my students.
My teacher buddy Brett Vogelsinger from Pennsylvania is a rock star. He starts every English class with a poem. He’s also currently in the midst of a special even blog, called Go Poems. Brett explains:
To celebrate National Poetry Month in April 2017, this event blog will present a poem and a “springboard” into a discussion, activity, or lesson plan each day. These poems can be used at the beginning of class to essentially say “go!” to close reading, creativity, and critical thinking. Hence the title of this blog: Go Poems.
Brett asked me to write a post for Go Poems. I ended up writing two. Today, Brett features my first post about a reversible poem by Brian Bilston called “Refugees.” Check it out!