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Discuss the teaching of poetry, share lesson plans and exercises.
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Ronald Micca Male, 52, United States (5/10/2012 9:08:00 AM)

Yesterday, a supervisor of mine directed me to take down a bulletin board on which I posted student work that demonstrated their understanding of history through the medium of poetry. She said, " What does poetry have to do with history?" She went on to say that poetry is elementary and that poetry isn't rigorous. I vehemently disagree. What are your views?I do not wish to take down the work and I need supporting counter-arguments to her claims. Please respond.

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  • Gold Star - 15,246 Points John Westlake (9/9/2014 9:44:00 PM) Post reply
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    How does she think history was passed down originally??? History was passed down through songs and poems long before people learnt to read. Only after many years were they recorded down in books and on parchment, resulting in the history we have today

  • Veteran Poet - 1,693 Points Laura Burns (6/14/2014 12:30:00 PM) Post reply

    History is not a separation from culture. Poetry, art, literature, all contribute to history.

  • Rookie Tweetspeak Poetry (5/19/2014 8:40:00 AM) Post reply

    The irony couldn't be greater.

    History has historically been cataloged through the medium of poetry. Especially in early times, poetry was used to help pass along the history and culture of tribes/peoples. Before poetry was poetry as we know it, it was history lessons!

    Too amusing.

  • Veteran Poet - 1,111 Points Denis Martindale (8/17/2013 5:43:00 AM) Post reply

    Poetry has been used throughout history in the exploration of historical events and their effects upon the present and future generations. It is possible that the medium of poetry elevates our understanding of the events and the motives and our human nature with its high aspirations as well as its human flaws. To reject poetry in general is a form of blindness, destroying its positive influences. Poetry may be discussed as to whether it is true, according to the known facts, or false in part or whole. If false, does it still have value on any level?Since many poets merely scan the world in which they live, it is easy to assess their work as such. The thought of dismissing all poetry does not make sense. However, it is a solemn reminder that poets ought to provide the best version of the truth, so as to give no advantage to the critics.

  • Rookie Maitiu Brallaghan (10/16/2012 9:04:00 PM) Post reply

    It is a little disappointing to see such a narrow-minded response. Think Steve Turner 's 'History Lesson'.

    My first, and perhaps the strongest argument for an educator, is using Blooms Taxonomy. Creating is a high order thinking skill. To be able, without the restrictions of essay scaffolds, to express their understanding of Historical events in, for instance poetry, challenges their understanding. She not look at the form but at the content. True - if this were all they did it does not prepare them for examinations. However as a creative exercise it is a high order skill and an excellent idea. I would suggest that if she remains in the dated prejudiced world of poetry is not rigorous then she better get stitching her leather elbow patches on quick-smart!

    As to poetry having nothing to do with history.... ha ha ha....she had me going on that one. Wilfred Owen?For many students he IS the First World War. He is certainly one of the most potent introductions to the war! Try the following discussions - -They might make interesting reading.

    Finally a word of warning: look up Chris Searle - Stepney Words. The lesson is if you don't listen to the student voice then maybe they will have to make their voice a little louder. (Also if you argue with your management you might get the sack... but I wouldn't worry about that one! After all - who needs a job?)

    Good luck- let us know how it goes...

  • Rookie Mariska Coetzee (5/21/2012 8:53:00 AM) Post reply

    I do agree with you. Poetry has been stereotyped by society, and it sad considering how little people know about it. Most people would easily sing along to a song but would never read a poem in their life, even though lyrics and poetry are not that different from each other. And because poetry requires a higher level of understanding, the poem the student wrote shows that she has reached the highest level of Bloom's taxonomy. I feel it should stay. Poetry is not confined to literature classes.

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