Here are some ideas that teens like for teaching American Poetry in homeschool co-op.
Ideas that Teens Like for Teaching American Poetry in Homeschool Co-op
Homeschool co-op is a wonderful place to teach poetry.
*Choose a good curriculum. For many homeschool high schoolers, they will get the most out of a curriculum that allows them to:
- have some fun with American Poetry
- feel they can understand, be touched by or relate to the poetry selections
- gain some skills for reading and writing poetry
- feel they can be successful at writing basic poetry
- not be overwhelmed or feel the course is overdone
That’s exactly what 7Sisters’ American Poetry: Reading and Writing is about. The lessons are short, accessible, fun and engaging. There’s an answer key to help co-op teachers grade assignments.
*Create a syllabus for the course. American Poetry: Reading and Writing is a quick, 5-week course. This is perfect for introducing American Poetry in a homeschool co-op setting. Click here for a simple how-to on writing a syllabus for your course.
Or for teens who get excited and want a full year/full credit of poetry, here’s a syllabus for a poetry credit to walk them through the process.
*Start with interest-building. This is probably the most important thing you will do to win your homeschool high schoolers’ attention. Show them a video (or several videos) of famous people reading American poems. There are some links in American Poetry: Reading and Writing. Here are a few more:
- S.M. Lockridge’s famous sermon-poem: Sunday’s Coming
- A Tiny Poem to the World by Kid President
- The Common Cold by Ogden Nash
- To My Dear and Loving Husband by Anne Bradstreet
- The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost read by Alan Bates
- Hope is a Thing with Feathers by Emily Dickinson
- 21st Century Native American Poet Layli Long Soldier’s Resolution 6
- Wisdom of Chief Dan George
- The Village Blacksmith by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- Bullwinkle’s take on The Village Blacksmith
- The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe read by James Earl Jones
- Just Do Right by Maya Angelou
- Litany by Billy Collins recited by a 3 year old
- Truth Without Photoshop by Janette Ikz
*Share a quote about poetry at the beginning of class each week. Here are a few from BrainyQuote.com:
- Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood. -T.S. Eliot
- Poetry: the best words in the best order. -Samuel Taylor Coleridge
- Listen, real poetry doesn’t say anything; it just ticks off the all possibilities. Opens all the doors. You can walk through any one that suits you. -Jim Morrison
- You can find poetry in your everyday life, in your memory, in what people say on the bus, in the news, or just what’s in your heart. -Carol Ann Duffy
- Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. – Leonard Cohen
*Read a poem in person each week. Choose a favorite poem to read as a group, you read or a student reads.
*Build vocabulary. Create a word wall. Have students bring an interesting word that they have found this week and write it on a group poster board. Then have each student share their word and what it means. Over the unit they will have enriched their vocabulary in a fun way.
*Group writing each week. Introduce each topic and then write a poem of that style as a group (you lead the activity). Allow this to be fun, silly and no-fail.
*Team writing each week. Break into teams. Have them write a quick, fun version of the topic then share with the group.
*Sharing poems. Each week have students share their homework poem with the group. This can be done by passing around.
For more practical planning tips for teaching homeschool co-ops, check out this post.
Remember to keep the attitude light-hearted. There is no way to fail with poetry if your homeschool high schoolers are having fun!
Watch Sabrina’s WONDERFUL Facebook Live about teaching poetry.