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Emily Dickenson Goes To Washington: Chapter One

This lesson was an introduction to Rhyme Scheme and the short form in Emily Dickenson’s poem, To Make A Prairie.  We worked with AAABB rhyme scheme, wondered if Ms. Dickenson […]

‘bribble bribble/Down the quart’: Lousy Language #1

This week we took a look at e.e. cumming’s poem, [love is more thicker than forget]. If it sounds like lousy language, it is! Made up words and all figure […]

Travel Ban: Poems About NOT Going

Last week we took a look at Richard Blanco’s poem about missed destinations in, We Are Not Going To Malta. Students were then given travel brochures exhibiting lush locales (decidedly […]

‘Like’ me: Simile and List Poems #2

This week I used the poem, Sweet Like A Crow by Michael Ondaatje, as a jumping off point to discus Simile, Epigraph, and Dedication in poetry.  Students were then asked […]

I Don’t Know Why Blue is Shy

This week’s class focused on concrete details, description, repetition, and mysterious connections in Yannis Ritsos’ poem, Because, (translated from the Greek). Students were asked to imagine ‘excuse’ clauses that might be used to explain […]

‘And don’t try nothing with love’: The Epistolary/Letter Form

Last week we started class a little differently as I had the students view a performance clip from the new Broadway show, Dear Evan Hansen. The show centers around High Schooler, […]

Booked! Metaphor & List Poems #1

Pre-Winter Break Classrooms can be challenging, but the 8th Graders at Washington Elementary had fun with this one: We studied the whimsical poem ‘Library’ by poet and toy collector, Albert […]

‘Horses don’t go’ Personifcation & Imagination in Poetry

This week took the class into more Narrative style poetry,  adding Personification and the Vernacular with a bit of humor. The studied text was Frank O’Hara’s ‘A True Account of […]

‘the/Girl with the maroon dress/And as she said yes…’: Narrative & Memory

This week’s lesson was sparked by Gary Soto’s wonderful poem ‘Oranges’ which details a pre-teen couple’s date on a cold December day.  This served as the class’s jumping off point […]

A Tree Grows at Washington!

My first day at Washington began in a roomful of expectant students: Mrs. Nazimek’s 8th Grade classroom. After introductions, and some votes on ‘Who reads poetry?’ (Among the ‘yeses’ and […]