Teaching With Poems to Elevate Student Writing in All Genres
Includes 100+ poems online
English/Language Arts (Middle/High School) | Writing (Middle/High School)
Unleash the power of poetry to boost all academic writing
Student writing outcomes will transform if we invest more time in the genre we too often ignore: poetry! With Poetry Pauses, Brett Vogelsinger asserts that all good writing takes us to deeper places, whether it’s narrative, argument, informational, or verse. So why not use the palm-size examples of poems to develop students’ skills?
This book helps you to
- Teach techniques such as using sound, pattern, imagery, grammatical structures, and dialogue
- Select poems from the online companion website for read alouds and writing warm-ups
- Reshape students’ attitudes about verse with contemporary spoken word and poems by today’s favorite poets
- Know how to tuck specific poems into any part of the writing process to build your students’ understanding of brainstorming, elaboration, paragraphing, argumentation, and more
No matter what students go on to do in life, being able to reach a broad audience with language that engages the whole mind is a gift. The resources here and online will stoke students’ logic and creativity immeasurably.
In Poetry Pauses, Vogelsinger provides exactly the encouragement,
guidance, and resources that teachers of writing need. He is a master
reader and master teacher—practical and accessible, nuanced and
detailed. From content that students will love to assessments that
will challenge them, from first principles of understanding to subtle
approaches for analysis, Vogelsinger thinks like the veteran practitioner
and generous colleague that all departments need. Poetry
Pauses is a collection of resources and inspiration that I am certain will
enliven and enrich my courses right away, and for years to come.
Brett Vogelsinger’s Poetry Pauses is the book we need right now to
guide us in how to bring poetry into our classrooms every day not as a
full-scale unit of study but by ‘opening little nooks of space for poetry.’
Brett’s practical ‘poetry pauses’ give us an accessible framework and
an abundance of ideas and materials for supporting students not only
as poets but also as writers in all genres throughout the school year.
I have a few teaching books that sit right next to my desk. Tattered
and dog-eared and covered in tabs, these are my go-to resources that I
use again and again. Poetry Pauses is the newest member of this shelf.
In it, Vogelsinger offers practical, vibrant lessons for using poetry to
enhance everything I want to do: help students learn about language,
brainstorm new ideas, sharpen claims, encounter different perspectives,
hold on to feedback, engage in deep thinking, build skills, and
lay the foundation for living better, richer, and more poetic lives.
Poetry Pauses beckons us away from our classroom routines to learn
in the presence of a poem. Here you will marinate in surprising language.
You will laugh. You will imagine new lessons in all genres. You
might grab a pen and drop a few lines. I did. Keep this on your desk;
you will return often.
Brett Vogelsinger’s passion for poetry bleeds through every page of
Poetry Pauses. Poems have long often been thought of as scary or boring
and using Brett’s ideas in this book are sure to get your students—
and YOU—to fall in love with the beauty of poetry. I can’t wait to share
this book with every teacher I know!
Writing, like teaching, is a mixture of art and science. So many professional
texts make writing scientific—practical, discrete steps that
can be broken down and easily taught to any student. In Poetry Pauses,
Brett Voeglsinger brings the art and magic and mystery of writing back
to our classrooms. This practical and beautiful book invites us to look
at poetry in a new way. It nudges us to consider that poetry is not just
a genre to be studied one month a year, but a genre that unlocks possibilities
for student writers at every stage of the writing process—from
planning to drafting to polishing. Poetry Pauses reminds us once again
that poetry is a vehicle through which we can teach ‘every essential
feature’ of writing in any genre and can be the ‘foundation for a year
of motivated writing’ (Atwell 2015, 317–318). This book will live on the
corner of my desk to be used every day in my teaching.
Poetry, and taking time to pause, is a powerful ally in the endeavor
to strengthen student writing. Vogelsinger’s work is jam-packed with
protocols, activities, resources, and just the right amount of research
that will not only meet your students’ writing needs, but also their
need to connect to self, SEL, and society.