Review Blog

May 01 2017

What is poetry? by Michael Rosen

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Walker Books, 2017. ISBN 9781844287635
(Age: 11+) Highly recommended. What is poetry? gives readers an insight into the messages and technical elements in poetry. In chapter 1, author, Michael Rosen, looks at the symbolism, the irony and the rhythm of poetry. He explains how poetry voices and captures moments. Each section has a poem and some guiding questions or comments to get readers thinking about each poem and its elements and messages. Year 6/7 teachers, in a primary setting, could use these poems in the class and follow Michael Rosen's comments and questions by handing the discussion over to the students. Young writers could also use this chapter to help them write better poems or to understand their writing better.
Chapter 2 covers all you can do with a poem. The tasks include reading poems, asking questions, looking for connections and using poems with an arts curriculum. Michael Rosen offers ideas and examples.
Chapter 3 looks at the thoughts Michael Rosen has when writing poetry. The poetry examples could be read by students, they can comment on possible feelings and then the class could discuss Rosen's thoughts as read by the teacher.
Chapters 4, 5 and 6 look at ways to start writing poems as well as the technical elements. Michael Rosen offers ideas that would help guide the teaching program.
This book could be used as part of an author study. Students could investigate Michael Rosen's poetry as well as other poets. It is highly recommended for young writers aged 11+ and for teachers to plan and prepare different poetry investigations.
Kylie Kempster

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