Translation with Nine Year Olds

I’ve been doing poems using words in Spanish or French with my students for several years, and have been trying to figure out a way to do our own translations. They love working with words in other languages, but it’s always felt a little daunting to do a whole translation, given that I have rustyContinue reading “Translation with Nine Year Olds”

Sonnets: Shakespeare wrote ’em so why can’t we?

Sonnets are a staple of English-language poetry. They can also be intimidating to introduce to children, because of their density and formality and because lots of the best ones were written a long time ago. However, I’ve been teaching them — after a solid foundation in other poetry — for several years now, and whileContinue reading “Sonnets: Shakespeare wrote ’em so why can’t we?”

Teaching Great Poetry to Children: Gerard Manley Hopkins

Gerard Manley Hopkins is pretty much my favorite poet. That’s kind of a silly thing to say, since having a favorite poet is like having a favorite food, and how could I choose between ice-cream and fresh blueberries and the perfect hamburger and my boyfriend’s tom kha soup? Poetry is delicious in at least asContinue reading “Teaching Great Poetry to Children: Gerard Manley Hopkins”

The Busy City: Playing with Noise in Poetry

¬†I want to share something really cool that formed in class today. We had been talking¬†about noises in poems — noisy things, words we liked the sound of, onomatopoeia — and decided to write a group poem about a crazy, noisy city night. Everyone, including me, was given a small slip of paper. We eachContinue reading “The Busy City: Playing with Noise in Poetry”