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Chapter 4: Poetry & Verse

What is Poetry?
- An intense, intricate combination of the sounds, meanings, and
arrangement of words to call attention to something in a fresh,
compelling manner.
- Offers readers the opportunity to explore emotions, ideas, and
What is verse?
- Often amusing and generally not intense
- Meant to delight
o Distinguish between poetry and verse:
Variation in Emotional intensity
Verse is much less intense than poetry
History of Poetry
- Verse written especially for children appears in folklore
- Mother Goose verses were some of the earliest poetic forms
- Poetry written for children began in the nineteenth century
- Some great poets at this time included:
o William Blake (1757-1827)
o Ann (1782-1866) and Jane Taylor (1783-1824)
o Sarah Josepha Hales
- Most nineteenth-centur poets had a strong desire to teach lesson,
while others went beyond preachy moralistic verses
- In the last half of the 20th century, poetry for children flourished
- In 1977, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) established
an award to honor poets who write for children. It started out as an
annual award, then an award presented every three years, but now the
award is bestowed every year.
Quality of Poetry and Poetry Analogies
- Content that speaks to readers (understandable, relatable)
o As teachers, do not underestimate the verbal and emotional
intelligence of young readers
- Language that enchances meaning (how it says what it means)
o Innovative ways to use words
o Arrange words purposefully to capture readers imagination
o Use strong rhythm and rhyme
o Free verse
o Figurative language
- Structure that support meaning
o Shape and patterns of words, lines say something about what the
poem means
o Poem structure reveals more about the subject than words alone
- Considering quality in poetry and poetry analogies
o Reader engagement is key!
Language in interesting ways
- Words as sound: alliteration, rhythm
- Words as pattern: word order arranging words in central to making a
poem and affect the meaning
- Words as pictures: imagery using words that use senses
- Figurative language
- Narrative
- Lyric Poetry
- Haiku & Cinquain
- Concrete Poetry
- Limericks
Poetry in the Classroom
- Draws young readers into listening
- Helps develop phonemic awareness

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