The Power of Poetry

Wednesday, March 29, 2023


Teaching poetry can be a challenging task for teachers, but it is essential in an English Language Arts class. Poetry can help students develop their critical thinking, reading, and writing skills, as well as improve their creativity and appreciation for language. In this blog post, we will discuss some techniques for teaching poetry that can help engage students and improve their understanding of poetic devices and techniques.

First, it is essential to choose poems that are relevant and meaningful to students. Teachers should consider the age and background of their students when selecting poems. Poems that reflect the experiences and perspectives of their students can help them connect with the poetry on a personal level. Additionally, choosing a diverse range of poets and styles can help students appreciate the breadth and depth of the poetic form. For example, a high school English teacher may choose to include Langston Hughes' "Harlem" and Emily Dickinson's "Because I could not stop for Death" to expose their students to both the Harlem Renaissance and Transcendentalism.

Additionally, teachers should use a variety of activities and approaches to teach poetry. These activities can include group discussions, close readings, and creative writing exercises. Group discussions allow students to share their interpretations of the poem and gain new insights from their peers. Close readings can help students analyze the meaning and structure of the poem by examining literary devices, such as imagery, metaphor, and symbolism. Creative writing exercises, such as writing a poem in response to the original poem, can help students understand the craft of poetry and develop their own writing skills.

Which is furthermore, teachers should provide students with ample opportunities to perform and share their poetry. In-class poetry readings, spoken word events, and poetry slams can help students build confidence and develop their public speaking skills. These events can also help students learn how to appreciate and critique the work of their peers, as well as learn from their peers' approaches to poetry.

It should be noted that teachers should emphasize the importance of revision and editing. Unlike other forms of writing, poetry requires attention to detail, sound, and rhythm. Encouraging students to revise and edit their work can help them improve their poems and gain a deeper understanding of the craft of poetry. Teachers can provide feedback to students and encourage them to revise their work to make it stronger.

In particular, teaching poetry can be a challenging task, but with the right techniques, teachers can help their students develop an appreciation for the poetic form and improve their reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. By choosing relevant and meaningful poems, using a variety of activities, providing opportunities for performance, and emphasizing the importance of revision, teachers can help their students become successful and creative poets.

Works Cited

Dickinson, Emily. "Because I Could Not Stop for Death." The Norton Anthology of Poetry, edited by Margaret Ferguson et al., W.W. Norton, 2005, p. 829.

Hughes, Langston. "Harlem." Poetry Foundation, Accessed 17 Feb. 2023.

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