Poetry Isn't for Wimps: A Middle School Guide to Poetry Proving the Power and Relevance of Poetry in the Modern World.
There. That's the full title and that's what this document is all about.
You may already have an opinion about poetry. You may already love it, or you may think it’s some “artsy” waste-of-time-hobby for emotional basketcases. Most people who think this way haven’t really explored poetry. Most of those people enjoy listening to poetry on the radio every day. Most people want to write poetry or can at least, identify with it--once they understand it!
What It Is: Poetry is a form of writing that allows you to speak your thoughts and feelings in a creative way. It is a way of letting your heart loose to say the things you might not say aloud. It is saying the usual in an unusual way. It is letting someone look through the window of your dreams. It is the freest type of writing. It is often words or phrases or sentences. It can be short or long. It can tell a story or not.
What It Isn’t: Poetry isn’t forced. In other words, it is difficult to write a poem on something you aren’t the least bit interested in. It does not have to rhyme, but then again, it can rhyme if you want it to. It is not paragraph form. There is very little punctuation and no incomplete sentences--just freedom.
Assessments and Curricula like PARCC and Common Core are constantly asking our students to experience multiple sources (videos, news articles, stories, poetry, etc.) and then meld them all together into a coherent essay or thesis. My 26 years of experience with middle schoolers has shown me that they generally don't know what poetry (real poetry) is, why anyone would want to write it, or what to do with a poem they've been assigned to analyze.
This thorough guide will open your students' eyes to the power and relevance of poetry. In addition, the guide has annotated, detailed explanations of what makes a poem a poem. Students will learn the basics of poetry, and then, through an in depth diagram, advance to the techniques and types of poetry that they should have been taught all along.