April is Poetry Appreciation Month. Most people appreciate poetry for its beauty, creativity, imagination,
and personal expression. However, poetry is a valuable teaching tool for developing linguistic skills and
language learning. And as Amanda Gorman illustrated two months ago, poetry can move mountains and awaken the world.
Most people see a limited value of poetry, even parents, teachers, librarians, and some writers. Poetry is mostly
used in classrooms to motivate students and allow for personal expression. Some people even go as far as saying that
poetry is mostly for urban or misbehaving students who need to make a connection to school and education. Some believe
that poetry and spoken word performances of poetry are only for social justice movements. Again I must say, that
Amanda Gorman and other poets have shown us that belief is simply misguided. Moreover, poetry is an effective tool
for teaching linguistic skills and language learning, as well as for promoting cognitive and language development.
English teachers and teachers of other subject matter can use poetry in a differentiated fashion by utilizing
learning stations and interest centers. This affords students the chance to differentiate their instruction based on
their current level of knowledge and their interests. Additionally, teachers can use micro‐teaching procedures
and the poetry‐teaching framework (POT) to actually teach linguistic skills, language learning, and promote
cognitive and language development.
POT consists of six steps
- Create the right context and give background information needed
- Assist students in comprehending the poem
- Guide students in analyzing the poem
- Connect the poem to students’ own lives and lived experiences
- Use micro‐teaching and scaffolding strategies to increase the value of the lessons
- Reflect on the use of poems in language learning
POT was created in Turkey by a scholar named Gonen (2018) who suggests that these 6 steps can be used with pre‐service
teachers and students in classrooms. Proper implementation of these steps reveal the value of poetry as a teaching tool
and not just a motivation tool. Indeed, poetry is valuable and its use in school classrooms to teach should increase.
References ‐ Scholarly articles
Avci, Yuksel, Soyer, Balikcioglu (2009) The cognitive and affective changes caused by the differentiated classroom
environment designed for the subject of poetry.
Ayers (2019) Creating teachers and models of reading and writing.
Camangian (2008) Untempered tongues: Teaching performance poetry for social justice.
Gonen (2018) Implementing poetry in the language class: A poetry‐teaching framework for prospective English
Wiseman (2011) Family involvement for adolescents in a community poetry workshop: Influences of parent
roles and life context variables.