Discipline: Literacy

Copyright: 2017

Grade(s): K - 6

Imprint: Heinemann

Author(s): Amy K Ludwig VanDerwater

“Poems wake us up, keep us company, and remind us that our world is big and small,” Amy Ludwig VanDerwater explains in Poems Are Teachers.   “And too, poems teach us how to write.  Anything.” 

This is a practical book designed for every classroom teacher.  Each lesson exploration includes three poems, one by a contemporary adult poet and two by students in grades 2 through 8, which serve as models to illustrate how poetry teaches writers to:

  • find ideas 
  • choose perspective and point of view
  • structure texts
  • play with language
  • craft beginnings and endings
  • choose titles.

Students will learn how to replicate the craft techniques found in poetry to strengthen all writing, from fiction to opinion, from personal narrative to information.  “Poets arrange words and phrases just as prose writers do, simply in tighter spaces,” Amy argues. “In the tight space of poetry, readers can identify writing techniques after reading one page, not thirty pages.”