Books are Enough

The Power of Free, Self-Selected Reading

So you hate poetry?

Sadly, NCLB and now Common Core have done a great job in destroying the discussion of poetry and love of words and language in schools. Early on, students are fed a steady diet of forced poetry with questions to answer- yes there is only one right answer or you fail.  Poems are a task and become despised. Once a student dares to pick “A” over “B” they are doomed. Students in the USA in grade one are reading Dr. Seuss. This might sound great but under Common Core they are reading it for “text structure” and have a load of questions to answer. They are not reading for pure joy and excitement. They are not reading to pick up rhyme, rhythm and repetition. They are being bored to tears.

Mike Rosen- in the UK- has some great ideas about poetry. Any school in the US should pay to invite him over instead of feeding kids Common Core garbage. Yes- Rosen is the guy who wrote “Going on a Bear Hunt.”  Rosen suggests throwing out dozens of book with poems for students to explore.  The students can pick a poem they enjoy and can go from there. No questions on a worksheet. Let kids enjoy language and see how fun poetry is.

These initial explorations of words and how they work together can excite students in elementary school and help create book-loving citizens.  Students I see in high school almost always “hate” poetry. They are forced to read incomprehensible text and there is only ONE right answer to each question. There is no room for imagination.  The internet has some great videos/articles of Rosen talking about ways to introduce poetry. Check them out! Rosen also has a blog where he shares many great ideas that can save kids.

Sometimes the drapes are blue- not because the main character is depressed- but because THEY ARE FRIGGIN BLUE!!!

 

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