Thinking about a poem

I imagined my very first blog post to be an amazing craft of wit and language that would wow my readers (thanks Mom and Auntie Laurie), launch me onto the road to stardom and notoriety in the world of literacy and education, and would forever change the course of my life.

Instead, you get this:

An entry that I discovered in my writer’s notebook that I thought might be a fun way to introduce our presentation at the  Arkansas Reading Association Reading Conference in Little Rock, AR this fall.  As I began looking for poems, lessons, and activities that have been successful with my students, I came across this little gem. (Perhaps not quite brilliant, but just a little fun).

A little background on this piece: Several years ago, I came across a poster called, “Unlucky Arithmetic: How to Raise a Non-Reader, ”by Dean Schneider and Robin Smith. The writers of the blog post at Choice Literacy put their own spin on this poster with “Unlucky Lists: How to Raise Non-Writers” and “How to Raise Non-Artists.” Finally, there was “How to Raise a Non-Speller.” I think you can see where I am going with this. Yes. It is true. I present to you,

“Unlucky Lines: How to Raise an Un-Poetic Person,”

by Jenifer Pastore.

1. Never let your students see you reading or enjoying a poem.
2. Get rid of all the poetry books that are silly and funny. In fact, don’t even get poetry books for your classroom!
3. Only read poems that are highly complex and require deep, deep analysis.
4. Don’t ever take time to visualize or illustrate poems. Put away those crayons, colored pencils and water colors.
5. Don’t read poems with silly voices or sound effects.
6. Read poems if and only if you plan to “cover” CCSS RL.4. There is no time in the curriculum for poetry slams or Poetry Friday.
7. Require every single student, regardless of need or ability, to reread their phonics-based poems for homework. Assign this instead of letting them choose a good book to read.
8. Skip the books about the lives of poets and what inspires them. (There won’t be any test questions about them).
9. Make sure your students find every last simile and metaphor, eight examples of alliteration, and fourteen other forms of figurative language.
10. Require students to identify and write a limerick, haiku, acrostic, quatrain and couplet. Those are the only ones with activities on TPT.
11. Do not, under any circumstances, use poems or books as scaffolds for writing poetry. Copying is forbidden.
12. Do not allow students to read poems with friends. Poems for Two Voices do not provide enough rigor.
13. Absolutely, positively, do not have fun with poetry.

Look out Literacy World! Here I come!

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