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Poems Are Teachers

How Studying Poetry Strengthens Writing in All Genres

By Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
Foreword by Katherine Bomer

“Poetry is our wisest writing teacher.”

Children’s writer and poet Amy Ludwig VanDerwater leads us on an adventure through poetry, pointing out craft elements along the way that students can use to improve all their writing, from idea finding to language play.

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“Poems wake us up, keep us company, and remind us that our world is big and small, And too, poems teach us how to write.  Anything.” Amy Ludwig VanDerwater explains in Poems Are Teachers.

This is a practical book designed for every classroom teacher.  Each lesson exploration includes three poems, one by a contemporary adult poet and two by students in grades 2 through 8, which serve as models to illustrate how poetry teaches writers to:

  • find ideas
  • choose perspective and point of view
  • structure texts
  • play with language
  • craft beginnings and endings
  • choose titles.

Students will learn how to replicate the craft techniques found in poetry to strengthen all writing, from fiction to opinion, from personal narrative to information.  “Poets arrange words and phrases just as prose writers do, simply in tighter spaces,” Amy argues. “In the tight space of poetry, readers can identify writing techniques after reading one page, not thirty pages.”

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