"When I was in high school, I really thought all poets were dead because all the poets we read were dead," says Denise Duhamel. "I just assumed that no one wrote poems anymore, just like no one made their own shoes anymore." Duhamel's relationship with poetry eventually improved, to the extent that she is now a poet. Nevertheless, her anecdote is telling; many students and teachers alike have discovered the unique challenges that poetry brings to the classroom.
This section of FOOLING WITH WORDS Online presents helpful teaching tools for poetry. Peter E. Murphy, who teaches English and creative writing at Atlantic City High School and whose poems have appeared in numerous journals, has prepared three lesson plans for teachers: "Memory is a kind of accomplishment ..."; "Locked in with loss ..."; and "Drop a poem into your class." The lessons may be utilized for grades 9-12.
Along with the lesson plans, Murphy has prepared a poetry revision Style Sheet for Revising Poetry, which can be utilized by teachers and students alike.
Teachers in search of poetic inspiration can also turn to Teaching Strategies. These are short pieces by teachers and educators, who share ideas and anecdotes about why they teach poetry and how they teach poetry.
In addition to these resources, the Educational Resources Center of Thirteen/WNET has prepared a Teacher's Guide based on the poets and poems presented on FOOLING WITH WORDS WITH BILL MOYERS.
Photos by Lynn Saville
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