Three of my English sections are selecting and studying poetry. My seventh grade and Practical English course that includes twelfth and eleventh graders.
I came across the poem, "Digging" by Seamus Heaney along with an example essay based on the poem. Even though there was not a specific assessment that went along with the poem the kids could start to have an idea on what to write about when writing about poetry. How can a poem inspire 500 words?
I asked my students how do 500 words inspire one tweet. They followed along and read the poem with me and saw how to point out poetic devices and personal connections within the poetry.
Earlier in the month, I went back to Poetryoutloud.org. And even though, I'm not sure if we'll be ready for a competition. I gave these students the instructions of finding a poem that finds them. They all laughed at how corny it was - some of the kids picked the usual "Fire and Ice" by Robert Frost - and really? What's so bad about that poem? They probably think they're being lazy - silly kids.
One of the titles I found interesting was "Fishing" by A. E. Stallings, I can't wait to read this guy's paper - this guy is an excellent writer - Of course, I had the usual Emily Dickinson - which I pointed out to one young girl "I'm so glad you like poetry."
She laughed "I only like Emily Dickinson."
I laughed; "You know she's a gateway poet, don't you?"