-What is a poem made of?
-What is workshop?
-Being a critic
-Course calendar
-Major poet project
-Personal portfolio

-Poetry Daily
-Modern & Contemporary American Poetry


Course Objective:

This course is designed for students with a strong interest in poetry: both in reading and writing poetry. The format of the class will be workshop style, in which students read their own poetry to the group, who will offer opinions about improvement. It should be the intent of all students to improve as poets and to expand their knowledge of poetry.


The semester exam will consist of two parts: a written self evaluation in which the student explains his or her growth as a poet and aesthetician and an oral reading of his/her best work of the semester, complete with an introduction. The collected works of the student, final as well as works in progress and rough drafts of completed poems will be kept in a portfolio. At regular intervals, each student will meet one on one with the teacher to explain how he or she is progressing at the time and to plan a personal course of action for the next evaluation period.

Texts Used:

Voices and Visions video series: selected poets
Getting the Knack, Stafford and Dunning, NCTE publication
Teacher made materials


•Research one major poet*: create a biography of him/her, collect samples of his/her poetry, read and respond to one critical essay of his/her work, and write a personal reflection of your interaction with this poet. This assignment is due by the end of the first quarter of class and will be handed in as well as presented to the class. Choice of poet must be approved prior to beginning work on this project.

•Create a personal portfolio of your writing for the semester along with your evaluations, critiques, and rough drafts or works in progress. Organize the portfolio so you can easily use it as a tool for explaining your progress in the class. Evaluation conferences will be held every four weeks. This is one of the main ways your grade will be determined in this class, and your portfolio will be the best representation of what you have accomplished. It should be in top form and display excellent organization.

•Participate weekly in workshop sessions by reading your own poem and by offering critical analysis to other students. Learn through this process to respect the fragile nature of the creative process and to nurture it and not destroy it. (Obviously this means having a new poem of your own to read on a weekly basis). Read about being a critic.

•Participate weekly in poetry readings by reading a published poem (no anonymous or teenager poetry allowed). Learn through this process to interpret the poem, to present with personal ethos a version of the poem that is yours, and to introduce it in a way that will gain your listeners' attention. Over the semester, it is expected that through feedback and by observing model readers, students will achieve mastery in poetry reading.

•Create a personal collection of poems that you or others have read and enjoyed by photocopying them and pasting them into a notebook. Check the library for books of poems. Learn to use the Internet as a source of poetry.

•Participate in weekly lessons on poetic technique, history of poetry, poets, etc., by taking notes as necessary, and by participating in discussions and activities geared toward helping you discover your creativity.

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2006 Dawn Hogue | Sheboygan Falls High School