A. Teaching Poetry
Whether you're teaching kindergarteners or an adult enrichment class, a poetry lesson can be engaging for all if you take a few things into consideration first.
- Examine your attitudes toward poetry. Before your teach poetry, you must first consider your own thoughts and feelings on the subject. Perhaps you love all things poetry, so you can do nothing but inspire students with your enthusiasm. However, most people have at least a few biases against poetry or preconceived notions about it. You may prefer formal, rhymed poetry and see free verse as so much nonsense. Maybe you love the modern works of living, breathing poets, but you must be forced to read the classics. Being aware of these tendencies will keep you from unfairly influencing the opinions of your class and can help you strive for balance in the poetry you teach.
2. Determine your goals. Before planning any lesson, you should determine your goals. This is especially important with poetry, because you can take several different approaches to the subject, each requiring different preparation.
- Enjoyment - You may simply wish for students to gain an overall appreciation of poetry, so you can plan your lessons around enjoying the poetry you read. Have fun with the rhythm of the words, look for intriguing images, and find poems with inspiring messages and themes.
- Literary analysis - In many classes, poetry is studied with an eye on dissecting its meaning. The emphasis is on identifying literary techniques like simile and metaphor and evaluating their effectiveness. This analytical approach can sometimes hinder students' enjoyment of poetry, but such analysis is also an important skill, so finding a balance is key.
· Creative writing - The focus may also be on leading students to create their own poetry. Students experiment with a variety of forms of poetry as a way of expressing themselves. However, this approach usually involves reading a wide range of poetry for inspiration.
3. Learn the terminology. If you're going to be discussing poetry, you need to learn the proper language. You'll need to know the forms of poetry, from haiku to sonnet, and the techniques poets use to build their work. If you don't feel comfortable with poetic devices and forms, look for a literary reference text.
4. Select the poems. Finding the right poems for a lesson is a bit of a treasure hunt. In some situations, you'll be teaching poetry from a required text, so you won't have much say in the poems you use. If you have a choice, start by browsing through collections of poetry at the library and bookstore. Think back to poems you studied in school or have read for your own enjoyment, and choose a few of your favorites. You should also look for poems illustrating techniques you'd like to highlight. Try to represent poets of different eras, genders, nationalities, and races.
5. Practice reading. Poetry is meant to be read aloud, so read each poem through several times to get a feel for it and to decide how to read it to best effect. What words will you emphasize and where will you pause? If you're not comfortable with your poetry performance skills, look for audio files of professional readers or even the poets reading their own poems.
With these points in mind, you'll be ready to plan a successful poetry lesson.
B. Teaching Drama
Literature includes various genres viz. poetry, drama, prose, fiction. That is to say, drama is one of the important genres. I t has become one of the successful and effective aspects of teaching literature. Drama is taught not only to please and instruct the learners but also to develop in them the skill of interaction. 'Interaction' therefore, is the main aim of teaching drama to language learners. Teaching drama can benefit the language learners in various ways.
The Principles of Teaching Drama:
The principle of teaching drama are as follows:
a. General principle. it includes the following points.
· Developing the vocabulary in learners
· Developing the skill of literal interpretation (i.e. reading comprehension)
b. Specific principle. it includes the following points:
· Developing the skill of interaction
Ø Exposuret o languagein conversation
Ø Understandingw hat someonere ally means.
Ø Orderinga nd sequencingin conversation
Ø Finding status and relationship
· Developing the skill of critical reading
· Developing the skill of critical thinking and creative writing (i.e. skill for imagination)
Strategies for Teaching Drama
- Connect personal experiences to events in the drama (teachers can help by using good questioning techniques).
- Visualize the characters as you read stage directions.
- Evaluate characters' words and actions and determine what motivates them.
- Notice character changes.
- Compare characters.
- Make a three column chart - label the left column, character 1; the middle column, shared traits; the right column, character 2.
- Fill in the chart as you read.
C. Teaching Prose
Teaching prose focuses on increasing student's comprehension of the material and establishing a personal connection to it. The key is to use a variety of strategies to keep students interested and involved. "Teaching Strategies" author Leif Danielson states, "As an overall teaching strategy: You should create the conditions that will elicit the behavior that you want from your class or an individual student."
1. Choosing Prose
Before you choose to teach anything, read it first. After you read the selection, take the time to write down a response to it that qualifies how you felt about the piece. If a piece of prose is unable to stimulate or interest you, it is unlikely to do so for your students. Afterward, look at the piece from the point of view of your students based on their life experiences, interests and ages. This helps you pick appropriate and engaging prose.
Encourage students to read the material several times if needed. Repeated observation reveals what they may have missed the first time. Introduce active reading strategies at the beginning of the course. First, teach them to observe what is on the page -- the facts and answers to "who, what, when, where, and how." Then encourage them to notice patterns, connections, repetition or contradictions. Tell them to question everything and explain that a situation or item wouldn't be in the text if there wasn't a reason for it. Lastly, teach students to discover the theme of the text -- what the author intended for the reader to understand. At the beginning of the course, make sure students understand literature terminology. They will need to know what the fiction elements are (point of view, character, setting, plot, structure and theme) and why writers use them. Most textbooks explain these terms, so have students read about the concepts and then discuss them during class by using examples from the assigned readings.
One of the best ways for students to increase comprehension is to write about the story they've read. Require students to keep a journal during the course and have them brainstorm, list or free-write a paragraph immediately after completing the reading. Depending on the level of the class, create a form with questions to answer as homework.
Other writing assignments also enhance creative and critical thinking. Ask students to write a continuation of a short story and imagine what would happens next. Alternately, have them rewrite the ending of a short story, choosing a point in the action and changing the direction of the plot. You can also require that they change the gender, age, race or sexual orientation of a character from a story and rewrite the story or a selected scene. Assign the students a character and have them write a letter to him or her--or have the students write a letter to the author and tell him or her what they think of the story.
Lecturing helps students understand the material, but creating a discussion involves students more effectively. Hearing another point of view challenges them to comprehend the material deeper. During class, ask questions. According to Saskatchewan Education, "Effective teaching involves asking appropriate questions at appropriate times and helping students ask their own questions." Small group discussion gives shy students an opportunity to relate one-on-one. Group four or five students together and give them a question to discuss. Let someone draw it randomly or use a question-and-answer form. Bring the smaller discussions back to the class by having one student report what was discussed.
5. Integrate Technology
Integrate technology into your teaching strategies. After reading and discussing a work, watch the movie version in class. If a movie hasn't been made of that book, watch a similar one to compare or contrast. View author broadcasts reading their own work or commenting on it. Assign students to make a movie about the story or novel. Patty Blome at Scholastic notes that "students develop comprehension and increase learning while researching characters, storyboarding plots and learning the art of film-making by translating a novel into a Hollywood-style digital movie."