Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Poetry Tag Time

Poetry post with good ideas.
Vardell, S., Wong, J. (2011). Poetry tag time. Amazon:Poetrytagtime.com

Poetry Tag Time: 30 Poems by 30 Poets is an anthology of poems by well known poets. There are actually three of these books out now! I cannot rave enough about the concept of this book. The writing of poems then "tagging" someone else, who has to write a poem somehow connected to the previous one, is genius. Between each poem is an explanation of why the author chose the next poem and what the previous author said or wrote about that made them want to write the new poem. Sometimes the explanations of the "tagged" poet was as funny and interesting as the poem itself. It helps students see that poetry ideas can be very random, creative, and come from anywhere.

Because this book is an anthology, written by a variety of authors, then it is perfect for the teacher who wants to compare/contrast examples and show the width and breadth that is poetry. While I was reading this book I jotted down all of the features and lessons that one could teach with just these thirty poems. Below is my unedited list that I typed on here as I came across the example or idea. It's like a buffet of different styles and formats!

cinquain/5 line pattern, free verse, rhyme scheme, figurative language, personification, simile, metaphor, funny, serious, nature, explanation/detail, onomatopoeia, concrete, new vocabulary words, short, long, narrative, animals, assonance, alliteration, riddles, seasons, acrostic, visualization, common experiences, and writing about all of the senses

I could keep going, but the notes I jotted above are enough to do a thorough unit with just this one book. Of course the ultimate fun goal for me would be do to a class anthology with the tagging concept. Because children are all at different levels, I think that the struggling readers may have a shorter poem, which is totally acceptable and may boost their writing esteem because they are not used to a few lines being acceptable and fun.

Students will also see that they are all connected in some way since the next poem is inspired by something written in the previous poem. The topics have the potential of jumping all over the place, but still have a thread of commonality. For example, the first poem in this book is about the moon and the last poem is about turtles!

Below is a full acrostic poem and an excerpt of a poem that I thought used figurative language beautifully.

Ribbons of color
Arch
In a
Neverending
Backbend
Over the
World

by Laura Purdie Salas


After the sun
dips her face
into the cool ocean waters
and the moon
stitches a white quilt
across the waves,

by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer

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