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Monday, March 25, 2013

Classic alAcademic Press - The Art of Poetry


I was given for review the Book
The Art of Poetrythe Teachers edition
 and the first two lessons on CD  as a member of the Old
Schoolhouse Review Team. This is a product from
Classical Academic Press.  You can purchase  The Art of Poetry
for $24.94 and the Teachers Edition  for $29.95.
The Art of Poetry DVD set is listed on the website as $89.95 but
as of April 1st the DVD set will be reduced to $69.95. If you want them
all  you can save. Get the whole Art of Poetry Bundle for $124.99
or if you wait till April 1st the price will be reduced to $99.95

Suggested Age level
These lessons can be used with  High School and possibly Middle School
children. If adjusted the poems could be shared with younger students as well.
I have been using the Art of poetry with my High school daughter and
middle school son but have varied how it is used with each child.
My daughter is working from the beginning of the book and my son
is picking and choosing poems to read together.

What is covered
The first 8 chapters of the Art of Poetry begins with the teaching of the
elements of poetry. Your student will learn about imagery, metaphor,
symbols, words, sound, rhythm, stanza and tone. In chapters 9 though 15
you will learn about the formal history of Poetry such as genres, verse form,
shaping forms, Emily Dickinson case study, open verse, Walt Whitman
(my favorite) and narrative poems. Chapter 16 gives you ideas  to
grow your child's interest in poetry with journals, workshops, poetry slams
summer camps, workshops and so on.

How the book can be used.
The writers of the art of Poetry suggest that you use the book in various
ways picking and choosing which sections to work on. They suggest
possibly doing an intense month long unit. Another option is to work on
two sections per month  or two weeks for each section. This book could
be used within your school for a few years spreading it out through the
course of their education picking out the key points you'd like to highlight
with each level of your child's education.

Lesson format
The lessons are set up with an explanation of the main element or topic.
Then you are given a few poems to select for your reading enjoyment
along with a few question to ask your student. The next section is a list of
suggested activities that you can do along with the poetry readings. Along
with this is a companion Cd which is just like having a class discussion on the
poems right in your own home. The last page of the lesson is a list of necessary
vocabulary that your child will  learn as they go through the readings.

The Teachers Edition
The teachers edition explains 37 of the books poems and gives you answers to
the questions. You will also receive a supplemental poetry timeline, quiz for
each chapter and the confidence you need to implement the poetry lessons.

How we are using it and our thoughts
With my high school daughter we are working from the beginning of the
book and going through the lessons a few at a time. We are taking it slow
sprinkling the lessons throughout her regular grammar course study.
My daughter has had a poetry journal since she was a very little girl. It's
really fun to look back at some of the poems she wrote and how much she
has developed over the years. She enjoys reading Edgar Allen Poe for fun.
It will be fun to introduce her to other poets that she may come to love. I
have always loved Walt Whitman myself and remember discovering poetry
when I was young. We really enjoyed the first lesson on imagery and did
many of the activities related to the lessons along with the poetry. I admit
to doing some of the lesson in a private journal myself. I'm really enjoying
the lessons along with her. I must say that I absolutely loved the DVD
it was like taking her to a poetry discussion. At times I'd pause the video
to see what her response might be. We had some great discussion on our own
and then pressed play to see what the children on the video had to share.
You do not need the DVD's for the course but I highly recommend them
In particular if you struggle with poetry yourself.  I thought I'd share an
activity with you. Take 5 minutes and free write about an image from one
of the season. I thought I'd include an image for you. This is from my
journal my daughter feels her writing is to personal to share but I wanted
to give you an example.

(photo taken by my oldest Daughter Heart in Key Largo Florida)

The heat of the summer washing over my skin warming my soul.
Sand coarsely massaging my feet. Dipping them deep into the
cool dampness reigniting through my soul. The brightness of the
sun makes me shade my eyes and squint up to its hold on me.
The ocean waves swell and swirl  along with the beating of my
heart. It pours and drips onto this earth digging into its being.
The sky is open to God's holy grace and I sit in wonder at the
blue the vastness of this place. The clouds billow in beauty and
whisper the most highs name. It is a precious tabernacle laid out
just for the people silently walking in awe along the waters edge.
I want to dip my hands into the color of the world. The blues, pinks
and yellows. Hold them in my hands. Then wash them clean
with the salt of this earth. God is so gracious.

Warm blessings,



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