For many years, my children have “studied” one poet per term with lessons consisting of simply reading, enjoying, and sometimes discussing the poems.
These lessons increasingly (over the years) include gentle notes on the poem’s construction and history, becoming slowly more of a poetic survey than simply exposure.
Each term ends with a biography of the poet, and in this way they’ve collected a knowledge of and appreciation for a wide variety of poets.
We also usually have a term each year for thematic poetry, focusing on how a variety of poets have contributed to various themes.
This has all been very intentional and designed to slowly stretch their poetic knowledge without ruining their appreciation with over zealous analysis and commentary.
This leads to lessons in Poetic Forms and Composition.
Because, while poetry can (and should) be simply enjoyed, and we should never feel obligated to understand it all, it is also extremely valuable to know how to read, understand, and compose poetry with skill and precision.
Our understanding of language isn’t complete if we don’t have affinity for and competency with verse, and poetry is also the expression of many of the world’s ideas and much of its beauty.
No age of time or study of humanities is complete without a knowledge of its poetry.
In 2024, we will be studying Poetic Forms and Composition for our weekly Group Language Arts lessons, and my 9th grader will earn a credit for it.
🗒️ Poetic Forms Curriculum from Under the Home (free)
🗒️ 100 Days of Poetry from At Home Middle School (free)
🗒️ Pass the Poetry Please by Lee Bennet Hopkins
🗒️ Fly With Poetry by Avis Harley
🗒️ Gone Camping Novel in Verse (and, Gone Fishing)
🗒️ Poetry Matters by Ralph Fletcher
🗒️ A Little History of Poetry by John Carey
🗒️ Kids’ Magnetic Poetry Kit
🗒️ The Place My Words Are Looking For by Paul B. Janeczko
🗒️ A Child’s Introduction to Poetry
Each week, we will practice a specific poetic form, read several examples, read a short poet biography and sampling, read a bit of poetic history, and read from a novel in verse.