POETRY_WORKBOOK

Basic craft: INTRODUCTION

These games are aimed at getting to grips with basic verse skills. Although inspiration and natural rhythms are important, practice with simple model verse forms and figures of speech builds confidence.

The acquisition of models is important. The more ways that one is aware that a poem can be made, the more possibilities for expression are available.
Our expectations of how a poem looks and sounds governs the range of our own writing. For this reason, it's important to provide a wide range of poems for students, for them to read and hear poems in many different styles and rhythms.
Although the games such as Limericker deal with simple rhymed forms, getting the rhyme right is less important than mastering the rhythm or producing a coherent and cohesive poem.

Nevertheless, many children are compulsive rhymers and improving their fluency and range is as necessary to helping them establish control over the structure and content of their work as showing them that poems don't have to rhyme.
The Rhymeboard was devised as an "exercise-bike" for the rhyming muscles; but mere facility in finding rhymes is only valuable insofar as it enables the writer to convey ideas within a rhymed structure without losing sense or strength.


Some of these games can be played aloud, most require only paper; those involving a definate verse form are helped by xeroxed/duplicated worksheets.
In group work, examples should always be worked through and more examples of finished work in the form be given: although these are commonplace verseforms their workings are often misunderstood and a thorough understanding of how simple rhythms are built up will create confidence.
In some ways it can be useful for teachers to think of what they're teaching as being as much music or maths as literature.

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Windows Workshops Dave Calder, The Windows Project ,1997,1998,1999,2009