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Using Poetry in the English Language Classroom…why (not)?


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Webinar presented on 5th November 2015 for BRELT - Brazilian Teachers of English as a Foreign Language

Published in: Education
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Using Poetry in the English Language Classroom…why (not)?

  2. 2. Why is it absent from so many EFL classrooms?
  3. 3. Why I enjoy teaching poetry Versatility Language Culture Personalisation
  4. 4. Benefits • More opportunities for reading, writing, listening and speaking practices • Expand vocabulary knowledge • Play with the language • Work with different rhythms and rhyme patterns • Increase motivation
  5. 5. How to get started? • Do you know poems in your native language? • Is there a particular poem from your country that you like? • Who are the famous poets from your country? • Have you written poems before? • Was it in English or your native language? • Did you enjoy writing poetry?
  6. 6. Using Poetry in Reading Classes • Start with poems that are manageable • Talk about the differences between stories and poems • Give students a chance to illustrate poems • Read a variety of poems out loud • Give students a chance to read poems out loud • Act out the poem • Discuss the vocabulary used in different poems (“Poetic Word” Wall) • Encourage students to share their personal interpretations • Be sure to include some poems written for children
  7. 7. Using Poetry in Writing Classes • Read a variety of poems first • Introduce different poetry forms as models • Use poetry throughout the syllabus
  8. 8. Young Learners Poems based on Books • Choose a book and read it for the children • Ask them to draw what they most like about it • Write four lines to describe the drawing
  9. 9.
  10. 10. Young Learners Mr Spider, Alan Maley • Choose a poem and read it aloud for the children: • Talk about where each line of the poem ends and how it creates rhyme, affects the meaning of the poem, and might even make the poem look a particular way. • Read it again as a group. • Select some words that rhyme. In this case, I selected: wall / fall; afraid / made; mean / clean; below / go. • Help them write another poem individually, in pairs, or as a group using the words selected and about the same topic.
  11. 11. Seeing the spider climbing up the wall, My first thought was, ‘it will fall!‘ I was also so afraid When I saw the web it’s just made! Then I shouted, ‘spiders are so mean!’ But then I saw how the room was clean. I sat with all the children down below And said, ‘little spider, please, don’t go!’ As a follow-up activity, you can ask them to read it aloud, and draw a picture of a spider.
  12. 12. Young Learners Acrostic Poems • Show the child how to write an acrostic poem, in which the first letter of each line spells out his or her name, when read top to bottom. • Once the child writes a poem based on his or her own name, the child can write about family members, friends, or pets. • If the children are too young, you can ask them to draw rather than write, and read it aloud.
  13. 13. K angaroos live in Australia A lligators like dirty rivers I nsects are everywhere and O ctopuses live in the sea. H orses are strong and E lephants too. My N ose moves like R abbits noses when I nsects bite it. Q uack, a duck said when it saw an U mbrella protecting an E gg from the rain!
  14. 14. Haiku Poems • Haiku Hangman • Read a definition • Ask them the following questions to be discussed as a group: 1. Do you like poetry? If you, which poets do you read, and why? 2. Have you ever written poetry? If so, do you show it to other people? Why? / Why not? 3. Have you ever read or written a haiku? 4. When and where did the haiku originate? 5. Are there any rules for writing haikus?
  15. 15. I hate my alarm It always wakes me early When dreams are still there Today beauty fades Leaving only dead flowers Withering away Clouds dance in the sky, Pure white cotton on blue heights, Unveiling sunrise. I love my kitten She’s always in the kitchen Purring all around. (Malu Sciamarelli) Tips for writing haikus: The haiku has a total of three lines. Line one and three should have five syllables. Line two should have seven syllables. Write about experiencing life through your five senses.
  16. 16. Kinkakuji (金閣寺, Golden Pavilion), Kyoto/Japan. Malu Sciamarelli, 2013
  17. 17. Julia Abend: The flowers are so Beautiful! So much peace and Love – togetherness. Gabriel Giro: The flowers are so Graceful, they make me feel so Relaxed and in peace. Matheus Durante: Peace and calmness, so Beautiful and colourful, Just like a rainbow. Pedro Giraldi: White flowers are so Graceful and with those green leaves – Peace all around us. Nicole Navarro: Spring is so peaceful In Japan or anywhere… Nature – always there.
  18. 18. Creating a Found Poem Your Favourite Song • Ask them individually to name their favourite song • Give students strips of paper with the fifth line of each song • As they listen to the songs, they have to identify the lines • Make students compare their answers • When all the sentences are identified, ask them to arrange them in any order they wish to make a poem • Ask them to read each of the poems out loud
  19. 19. Open your eyes, Life’s what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans Whenever I’m alone with you I go to the other side of Paradise It will be just a perfect day And if thou should ask my love I’ll love you more with every breath And build a ladder to the stars Do you dream to touch me and smile down deep inside? Oh, God help the beast in me! I knew, I knew, I’d lose you You’ve got to learn although it’s very hard Songs:  Take me to the other side, Arisha  Beautiful Boy, John Lennon  Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen  Lovesong, The Cure  Just a perfect day, Lou Reed  Truly, Madly Deeply, Savage Garden  Thorn in my pride, Black Crowes  The Beast in me, Johnny Cash  No need to argue, The Cranberries  You’ve got to learn, Charles Aznavour  Forever young, Bob Dylan  Jamie come to me, Robert Burns (poem)
  20. 20. Cinquain Poems Explain what a cinquain poem is: • the first line is a one-word title, the subject of the poem; • the second line is a pair of adjectives describing that title; • the third line is a three-word phrase that gives more information about the subject; • the fourth line consists of four words describing feelings related to that subject; • the fifth line is a single word synonym or other reference for the subject from line one.
  21. 21. ‘Getting to know you’ with cinquains - Interview a classmate and use what you learn to write a cinquain about that person: • What is your name? (person’s name – one word) • What are some adjectives that describe you? (two adjectives describing the person) • What are some activities you enjoy? (three -ing action words) • What do you think makes you a good friend to others? (a four-word phrase about friendship) • Do you have a nickname? (one-word nickname)
  22. 22. Pedro Giraldi: Luis Intelligent, nonsense Studying, cooking, reading Really funny with friends Lipe Nicole: Julia Happy, outgoing Reading, sleeping, cooking Someone that is trustworthy Ju Julia Abend: Nicole Happy, shy Swimming, reading, eating Someone that is caring Nick Luis Cavalli: Pedro Smart, shy Programming, photographing, exploding Always got your back Giraldi Leonardo Putini: Pedro Blue, white Sleeping, fighting, eating He ain’t no coward Vienna Pedro Vienna: Gabriel Sleepy, psy Watching, basketballing, sleeping Very trustworthy he is Delgado Gabriel Delgado: Leonardo Short, geek Drawing, video-gaming, watching To have good sense Putini Verena Torres: Osmeire Determined, nonstop Reading, travelling, working Being true all times Meire Osmeire Sanzovo: Verena Sincere, determined Running, reading, praying Always happy when together Veve
  23. 23. Acrostic Poems Name the poem:
  24. 24. • Once they match the names to the poems, ask them to read the poems out loud • Ask them to describe the haiku and cinquain poems, and explain what an acrostic poem is • Ask them to re-tell briefly some of the fairy tales they are familiar with, then read a fairy tale of your choice, different from what they know • Ask them to write an acrostic poem: FAIRY TALES
  25. 25. Matheus Durante: F irst you need to dream. A fter that, you must feel. I magine that fantasy is real. R eality gets so boring when Y ou learn that what is unreal T astes better just for a few. A ll you got is nothing… L ife has sent you no mail that day. E verything is not real S o live in a fairy tale. Gabriel Delgado: F or you, A fairy tale I n your life R esounds Y our way T o A nalyse the world, L ess disturbed. But in the E nd, this is how it is S upposed to be. Leonardo Puttini: F alling down the rabbit hole, A lice was feeling sick. I llness took her everything, R educing her to absolutely nothing. Y elling in pain, T earing her thoughts apart, A lice could not feel anything. L ooking for help, she shouted, E nding noticing that she had no voice at all. S uddenly, waking from a nightmare, she felt hungry and ate the magic cake.
  26. 26. What students reported: Thank you! Vocabulary improvement Better intonation, pronunciation of words in general Thinking directly in English, without any kind of translation Close observation Clear thinking Limiting themselves to the essential Email: Website: www.malusciamarelli.weebly. com The C Group: