Sacha’s<25: The perfect curriculum (student book, teacher edition and DVD set) to teach your student poetry and grow a love for understanding the art of poetry.
Home in the Trenches Product Rating (out of 10 stars)
Is it worth our time? 9 stars
Did it help us learn? 9 stars
Is it worth the money? 9 stars
Is it useful to me? 9 stars
Practicality- 9 stars
Quality- 9 stars
Kid Rating- girl (11)–10 stars, boy (13)–6 stars
I totally do not get poetry…I know, it sounds so shallow. I like poetry when I understand it, but I have some bad memories of high school and college classes where we would have to discuss a poem and I would feel like we were pulling ideas out of the air. So now I am supposed to teach poetry? Oh goodness, can I just run the other way? If I can be totally honest, I was fearful of reviewing this product. I did not want to review it. I have really been happy to just hand the kids a poetry book each year and have them read the poems from the book over the school year. I didn’t know how to teach poetry….I didn’t even understand it myself! UNTIL…….
We received The Art of Poetry from Classical Academic Press to review. When it arrived I was kind of dreading having to figure out how to teach poetry now. You know what….this curriculum gave me just what I needed to start teaching poetry and to continue teaching it. Yep, you read that right….CONTINUE….we are enjoying this curriculum and are excited to be able to use it more! This curriculum will last us a couple years. This is also “out of the box ready” for your student to pull out and use on their own if you want.
Here’s a description of The Art of Poetry from Classical Academic Press:
If you have ever felt mystified by, or unable to enjoy the significance of poetry, this book will lead you step by step to understanding and love of this branch of literature, guided by a gifted poet and teacher. The Art of Poetry is an excellent middle school or high school curriculum; it will teach the practice of reading a poem slowly and carefully, introduce students to the elements of poetry (such as imagery and metaphor) and the many forms that can make a poem, from sonnet to open verse. In the belief that practice is the best way to learn, this book is rich with explications, exercises, and activities. A biography of each poet is also included, and we are providing audio files of many of the poems.
My 13 year old son and 11 year old daughter both sat down with me to look at this curriculum. We decided (or should I say I told them) we would work through the first chapter of the book. The great thing about this curriculum is you can go at your own pace. It is suggested in the teacher’s manual to decide what you want to do with your student…either a month long intensive course, a school year or you can do it over multiple years. It is totally up to you! Since my kids are at the young age of the suggested age group (6th-12th grade) we decided that we would focus on just one chapter to start. You can check out their suggested schedules here!
We read through the beginning portion of the 1st chapter and then headed into looking at some of the poems within the text. One of the great things about this curriculum is the teachers guide. Love it. I would have been totally lost without it! With it I was able to feel like I had an idea of what to talk about when discussing each poem!
The greatest thing about this curriculum are the DVD’s. We were given the DVD just covering Chapters 1 and 2 in the curriculum. I will be purchasing the rest of the set! We loved watching the instructor (Christine Perrin) speaking with 4 eighth grade students about the poetry. Joy (11) commented about how much she loved hearing the students speak about their ideas of the poetry meanings and that they weren’t afraid to say something. I can’t recommend the DVD’s highly enough! Yes, they are the most expensive portion of this curriculum but I know that without them we probably wouldn’t continue using this curriculum. They make it so easy to teach with and understand poetry. You can really just pop it in the DVD player and have your students watch it! They will learn so much. Even better is to watch it with them and then discuss afterwards! It’s like having a college professor teaching right in your living room…and she is easy to understand and makes it fun and painless! What could be better than that?
The 1st chapter of the DVD has the instructor and students do an exercise where they tell each other about an image that had some significance to them. This was a great way to warm them and us up to discussing images in poetry. This was the topic of the first chapter of the book! We also enjoyed listening to the instructor explain how to do some of the additional exercises at the end of the chapter. This really took the mystery out of what we were supposed to be doing!
What I liked:
- This is a go at your own pace curriculum…you can do a month long intensive study or do it over a couple years.
- This is written to be simple for someone new to poetry and in depth enough to be an intensive poetry curriculum.
- The DVD’s….a must have!!!!!
- The activities at the end of each lesson. Joy asked to do them on her own…I was not going to assign them, she wanted to do them.
- There are references to Christianity and seems to come from a Christian worldview while discussing the meanings of the poems.
- I didn’t realize how important it is to read poetry aloud and also more than once. It is an oral art!
What I didn’t like:
- I wish I had something to tell you here…other than that my son didn’t jump for joy about poetry after we finished the first chapter….LOL….not sure a lot of 13 year old boys would.
To sum it up: Want to have your students study poetry but unsure how to do it? This curriculum is a great way to not only start the study of poetry but really go in depth and understand it! Comes with a high Home in the Trenches recommendation!
The important information:
The Art of Poetry–$24.95 (as a side note….this is also available as a kindle edition or Apple iBook)
The Art of Poetry Teacher’s Edition–$29.95
The Art of Poetry DVD Set–$69.95
The Art of Poetry Bundle–$99.95
Order from: Classical Academic Press
To read other Schoolhouse Crew reviews of this product click here.