The elementary conundrum : Can poetry be fun?

Gallagher, Bronac (2000) The elementary conundrum : Can poetry be fun? Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

If poetry could help better prepare future adults in their chosen disciplines, perhaps teachers, administrators, school boards and governments would be more receptive to include poetry as a core component of the curriculum. What other subject in our curriculum boasts of the capacity to challenge the intellect, charge the emotions, tickle the imagination, renew the spirit, stimulate the senses, enrich the body, calm the mind, lure the listener, motivate the reader, entice the writer and empower the speaker? -- Poetry effects change. The young people who stand today before audiences and adjudicators seeking recognition in drama symposiums and public speaking forums are the adults who will stand in the courtrooms, classrooms, lecture halls, churches, boardrooms, parliaments, television and radio studios of tomorrow. They are the voices of passion, emotion, spirit, and conviction. Sadly many teachers decide against teaching poetry in their classrooms because they are afraid to do so. For some no doubt memories of poetry taught during their student days, consisting of antiquated rhyming masterpieces which they were forced to dissect, memorize and recite, has precipitated such a decision. Such a pedagogical decision may result in not only stunting our children's language growth, but also impairing their developments as the creative, passionate individuals of tomorrow's society. -- The major purpose of this project is to establish a rationale for the inclusion of poetry as an integral part of a school language programme. Factors intrinsic to the enjoyment of poetry during the primary schooling years are examined and the constituent elements of fine poetry for children are identified. This project has surveyed the related literature to expose teachers to the benefit of engaging on a course of poetic education in the primary years. The underpinnings of teachers' reluctance in entering upon such a course will be reviewed as well as the role of the teacher in presenting such work. To assist in the selection of appropriate poetry the constituent elements of children's poetry are examined, an annotated bibliography of recommended books is created, and an evaluation made as to a proposed course of action. -- Part II of the project consists of the Poetry Companion for teachers. The theme of Back to School was selected because of its easy integration into the curricula for elementary grades and its ability to move, delight, inspire, and instruct. The nature of this theme also lends itself well to the development of cognitive thinking skills and affective personal and social goals. A variety of poetry books and anthologies were selected as useful resources. They are highly recommended for use with children in the elementary grades. The selection of material is flexible and can be utilized at the beginning, middle or end of the school year. It can also be incorporated into the Language Arts curriculum to develop listening skills, encourage oracy, promote reading spontaneity, and enhance creative writing. -- The Poetry Companion includes a wide variety of poetry forms within a selected theme, some instructional strategies for use in the classroom as well as a bibliography of selected reading materials for teachers and an annotated bibliography of recommended children's poetry books.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1517
Item ID: 1517
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 70-76
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 2000
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Poetry and children; Poetry--Study and teaching; Children's poetry

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