Friday, March 22, 2013

The Art of Poetry, Classical Academic Press {Schoolhouse Review Crew}

Creative writing has always been a large part of my life, thanks to my mother. It has always been one of my desires to share, and pass on, that enjoyment to my children. I must admit, though, I haven't always known how to go about teaching it, tangibly, to them.

Recently we were given the opportunity to use and review The Art of Poetry, from Classical Academic Press. We received the student text, the teacher's edition, and the first disc of the DVD series.

The Art of Poetry is an excellent curriculum for middle school or high school students, and can be used either as leisurely as spreading the course out over a few years, or as intense as covering it in one year.

Your student will learn the elements of poetry, such as: images; metaphor; symbols; rhythm; shape (stanza and line). Your child will also learn the formal history of poetry: history of form, movements, genres; verse forms; shaping forms; open verse. In the appendix is a section containing short biographies of each poet covered throughout the course.

Applications are also covered, such as creating a writer's journal, compiling a "favorite poems" notebook, or even starting a poetry group.

The teacher's edition contains all the information the student text does: various poems to read, discussion prompts, activities at the end of each chapter, as well as a vocabulary section. The teacher's edition also includes explications and answers for each chapter.

When I introduced this course to Botanist Boy (and Little Bit is joining even more leisurely), I was reading a book, Grass Sandals, to Little Bit (as part of our core curriculum). This book is set in ancient Japan, about a man who wrote hundreds of Haiku. So, then, I pulled out my notebook of the poems I have written. Little Bit was especially impressed with the fact that I began writing poems when I was his age!

Then we put in the DVD, in which the author, Christine Perrin, and a group of eighth grade students discuss the lessons throughout the book. I actually had all four of my offspring watch the discussion from the first chapter.

Since one of the first poem selections is by Robert Frost, I pulled out another book used in our core curriculum, to read to the boys.

One of the suggested activities from chapter 1 is to take five minutes and freewrite about images from one of the four seasons. I had both boys do this. Little Bit dictated his list for Jen to write for him, and even I wrote out a list of my own.

Botanist Boy--Winter
Snow, Christmas trees, when we celebrate when Jesus was born, snowball fights

Little Bit (with Jen’s help)--Winter
Snow, snowball fights, snow angels, snowmen, sledding

Mom (me)--Spring
Flowers, return of the hummingbirds, birds returning north on migration, crocuses, daffodils, azaleas, daylight hours growing longer, daylight hours longer than night time hours, rain showers, tornadoes, melting snow, warmer days, robins, thousands of geese and swans on Freezeout Lake in Montana, bears waking from winter’s slumber, pastel colors, fresh green leaves appearing on trees

I look forward to reading more of the selections, maybe covering three or four a month, over the next year or two; then when each boy reaches high school, revisiting at a more intense pace--going through it more deeply.

Check out the sample chapters, the suggested weekly schedule, or the author's blog. Also, the poem selections are available via free MP3 files (the zip file is over 200MB, and may take awhile to download).

Cost: The Art of Poetry, $24.95; The Art of Poetry Teacher's Edition, $29.95; DVD set, $69.95 (as of April 1, 2013); $99.95 for the complete program (as of April 1, 2013).

Contact Information:
2151 Market Street
Camp Hill, PA 17011
Toll Free: 866-730-0711
Phone: 717-730-0711
FAX: 717-730-0721



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1 comment:

  1. We worked through that activity, too. I enjoyed seeing the beauty of each season through their views.


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