Hello and Welcome to my Blog, Jewel Noir!

I am Dr. Kimberly A. Gordon Biddle, an Emeritus Professor from Sac State and an author of textbooks and children’s books (PB & MG). I started out with humble beginnings, being raised in poverty by a single parent mom in a rural village in Illinois. I was educated at the University of Redlands with a Double BA in Psychology and Music, where I graduated Cum Laude. Then I continued my education at Stanford University GSE, where I obtained a PhD in Child and Adolescent Development. After 30 years in the field, 28 years as a Professor, I am retired and focused on helping others with my writing. This monthly blog is one way that I am helping. I hope it is informative and helpful to those who read it.

The Value of Poetry

Posted April 12th, 2021

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

  1. Create the right context and give background information needed
  2. Assist students in comprehending the poem
  3. Guide students in analyzing the poem
  4. Connect the poem to students’ own lives and lived experiences
  5. Use micro‐teaching and scaffolding strategies to increase the value of the lessons
  6. 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 language teachers.

Wiseman (2011) Family involvement for adolescents in a community poetry workshop: Influences of parent roles and life context variables.

Comment by rpapa on 04/15/2021
This posting makes my heart sing. As a teacher of 50 years, the value of poetry asks students to sing in this unique expression. The six steps I will use with students.
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