Using Poetry in the English Language Classroomwhy not?
Using Poetry in the English Language Classroomwhy (not)?
Malu SciamarelliWebinar: BRELT - Brazilian Teachers of English as a Foreign Language5th November 2015
Why is it absent from so many EFL classrooms?
Why I enjoy teaching poetry
Benefits More opportunities for reading, writing, listening and speaking practices Expand vocabulary knowledge Play with the language Work with different rhythms and rhyme patterns Increase motivation
How to get started? Do you know poems in your native language? Is there a particular poem from your country that you like? Who are the famous poets from your country? Have you written poems before? Was it in English or your native language? Did you enjoy writing poetry?
Using Poetry in Reading Classes Start with poems that are manageable Talk about the differences between stories and poems Give students a chance to illustrate poems Read a variety of poems out loud Give students a chance to read poems out loud Act out the poem Discuss the vocabulary used in different poems (Poetic Word Wall) Encourage students to share their personal interpretations Be sure to include some poems written for children
Using Poetry in Writing Classes Read a variety of poems first Introduce different poetry forms as models Use poetry throughout the syllabus
Poems based on Books Choose a book and read it for the children Ask them to draw what they most like about it Write four lines to describe the drawing
Mr Spider, Alan Maley Choose a poem and read it aloud for the children: https://youtu.be/m2Yr_jwCPhE Talk about where each line of the poem ends and how it creates rhyme, affects the meaning of the poem, and might even make the poem look a particular way. Read it again as a group. Select some words that rhyme. In this case, I selected:wall / fall; afraid / made; mean / clean; below / go. Help them write another poem individually, in pairs, or as a group using the words selected and about the same topic.
Seeing the spider climbing up thewall,My first thought was, it willfall!I was also soafraidWhen I saw the web its justmade!Then I shouted, spiders are somean!But then I saw how the room wasclean.I sat with all the children downbelowAnd said, little spider, please, dontgo!
As a follow-up activity, you can ask them to read it aloud, and draw a picture of a spider.
Acrostic Poems Show the child how to write an acrostic poem, in which the first letter of each line spells out his or her name, when read top to bottom.
Once the child writes a poem based on his or her own name, the child can write about family members, friends, or pets.
If the children are too young, you can ask them to draw rather than write, and read it aloud.
K angaroos live in AustraliaA lligators like dirty riversI nsects are everywhere andO ctopuses live in the sea.H orses are strong andE lephants too. MyN ose moves likeR abbits noses whenI nsects bite it.Q uack, a duck said when it saw anU mbrella protecting anE gg from the rain!
Haiku Poems Haiku Hangman Read a definition Ask them the following questions to be discussed as a group:
1. Do you like poetry? If you, which poets do you read, and why?
2. Have you ever written poetry? If so, do you show it to other people? Why? / Why not?
3. Have you ever read or written a haiku?
4. When and where did the haiku originate?
5. Are there any rules for writing haikus?
I hate my alarmIt always wakes me earlyWhen dreams are still thereToday beauty fadesLeaving only dead flowersWithering awayClouds dance in the sky,Pure white cotton on blue heights,Unveiling sunrise.I love my kittenShes always in the kitchenPurring all around.(Malu Sciamarelli)Tips for writing haikus:
The haiku has a total of three lines.
Line one and three should have five syllables.
Line two should have seven syllables.
Write about experiencing life through your five senses.
Kinkakuji (,GoldenPavilion), Kyoto/Japan. Malu Sciamarelli, 2013
The flowers are soBeautiful! So much peace andLove togetherness.
The flowers are soGraceful, they make me feel soRelaxed and in peace.
Peace and calmness, soBeautiful and colourful,Just like a rainbow.Pedro Giraldi:
White flowers are soGraceful and with those green leaves Peace all around us.
Spring is so peacefulIn Japan or anywhereNature always there.
Creating a Found Poem
Your Favourite Song Ask them individually to name their favourite song Give students strips of paper with the fifth line of each song As they listen to the songs, they have to identify the lines Make students compare their answers When all the sentences are identified, ask them to arrange them in any order they wish to make a poem Ask them to read each of the poems out loud
Open your eyes,Lifes what happens to you when youre busy making other plansWhenever Im alone with youI go to the other side of ParadiseIt will be just a perfect dayAnd if thou should ask my loveIll love you more with every breathAnd build a ladder to the starsDo you dream to touch me and smile down deep inside?Oh, God help the beast in me!I knew, I knew, Id lose youYouve got to learn although its very hardSongs:
Take me to the other side, ArishaBeautiful Boy, John LennonBohemian Rhapsody, QueenLovesong, The CureJust a perfect day, Lou ReedTruly, Madly Deeply, Savage GardenThorn in my pride, Black CrowesThe Beast in me, Johnny CashNo need to argue, The CranberriesYouve got to learn, Charles AznavourForever young, Bob DylanJamie come to me, Robert Burns (poem)
Cinquain PoemsExplain what a cinquain poem is:
the first line is a one-word title, the subject of the poem; the second line is a pair of adjectives describing that title; the third line is a three-word phrase that gives more information about the subject; the fourth line consists of four words describing feelings related to that subject; the fifth line is a single word synonym or other reference for the subject from line one.
Getting to know you with cinquains - Interview a classmate and use what you learn to write a cinquain about that person: What is your name? (persons name one word) What are some adjectives that describe you? (two adjectives describing the person) What are some activities you enjoy? (three -ing action words) What do you think makes you a good friend to others? (a four-word phrase about friendship) Do you have a nickname? (one-word nickname)
PedroGiraldi:LuisIntelligent, nonsenseStudying, cooking, readingReally funny with friendsLipe
Nicole:JuliaHappy, outgoingReading, sleeping, cookingSomeone that is trustworthyJu
JuliaAbend:NicoleHappy, shySwimming, reading, eatingSomeone that is caringNickLuisCavalli:PedroSmart, shyProgramming, photographing, explodingAlways got your backGiraldi
LeonardoPutini:PedroBlue, whiteSleeping, fighting, eatingHe aint no cowardVienna
PedroVienna:GabrielSleepy, psyWatching, basketballing, sleepingVery trustworthy he isDelgadoGabrielDelgado:LeonardoShort, geekDrawing, video-gaming, watchingTo have good sensePutini
VerenaTorres:OsmeireDetermined, nonstopReading, travelling, workingBeing true all timesMeire
OsmeireSanzovo:VerenaSincere, determinedRunning, reading, prayingAlways happy when togetherVeve
Name the poem:
Once they match the names to the poems, ask them to read the poems out loud Ask them to describe the haiku and cinquain poems, and explain what an acrostic poem is Ask them to re-tell briefly some of the fairy tales they are familiar with, then read a fairy tale of your choice, different from whatthey know Ask them to write an acrostic poem: FAIRY TALES
F irst you need to dream.A fter that, you must feel.I magine that fantasy is real.R eality gets so boring whenY ou learn that what is unrealT astes better just for a few.A ll you got is nothingL ife has sent you no mail that day.E verything is not realS o live in a fairy tale.Gabriel Delgado:
F or you,A fairy taleI n your lifeR esoundsY our wayT oA nalyse the world,L ess disturbed. But in theE nd, this is how it isS upposed to be.Leonardo Puttini:
F alling down the rabbit hole,A lice was feeling sick.I llness took her everything,R educing her to absolutely nothing.Y elling in pain,T earing her thoughts apart,A lice could not feel anything.L ooking for help, she shouted,E nding noticing that she had no voice at all.S uddenly, waking from a nightmare, she felt hungry and ate the magic cake.
What students reported:
Thank you!Vocabulary improvementBetter intonation, pronunciation of words in generalThinking directly in English, without any kind of translationClose observationClear thinkingLimiting themselves to the essential
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