Showing posts from September, 2014

Approaching Poetry

When we introduce poetry into our classrooms we need to present it as a celebration of language. We must let our students feel it has the potential to be a great thing for them to enjoy. Poetry is indeed special. Wallace Stevens, the American poet referred to poetry as ‘Simply one of the best things in life.’
Poetry invites the reader, or the receiver to share some of the imagination and wonder of the writer.
For a young child, appreciation of poetry grows with exposure and a growing sense of familiarity with the form. There may not be immediate acceptance. An understanding of poetry develops when the child is invited to listen carefully to the language and to notice the patterns and structures used. Once an understanding is established, the inexperienced poet will more readily engage with poetry and begin to experiment with poetry in all its forms. 
Drawing attention to patterns and structures, rhythms and rhymes means a greater likelihood young poets will embrace them and begin to use …

Searching For Hen's Teeth

Coming Soon!

My next book is a poetry collection for kids. I look forward to  sharing it with you soon. Stay tuned.

September 2014

The Importance of Modelling Topic Selection To Inexperienced Writers

I occasionally find myself talking to a teacher at pains to tell me how their students are struggling to think of suitable topics for their writing. ‘They never seem to come up with much, so that’s why I have to give them sentence starters and topics.’  ‘Why can’t they think of  writing ideas?’ they ask.
I always find myself wondering if those teachers have ever reflected on this same question?

Demonstrating and modelling how we connect to the world around us is a vital consideration for our students. As teachers, we need to demonstrate how we harvest ideas, how we excavate memories and how we ruminate and wonder.
Listing, brainstorming, discussing, questioning, wondering, sketching, mapping, musing, note making all form part of that critical pre-writing part of the process young writers need to see.
If we teach in a manner that fails to account for such things,  writing ideas will continue to struggle for recognition with our student writers.
Nothing influences a child’s attitude to wri…