This book is chockfull of student poetry samples and unique ideas, including field trips and a poetry night hike, to spark students' imaginations and inspire them to write poetry.


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Poetry of Place: Helping Students Write Their Worlds isn’t your typical book about teaching poetry. Sure, you’ll find plenty of information on helping students learn the fundamentals of writing poetry. But you’ll also find creative, innovative ways to engage students in poetry—even those students who may be initially resistant to poetry.

Through his extensive work with students in grade school through high school, poet-in-residence Terry Hermsen has learned how to foster a love of poetry by taking the learning out of the classroom—and into students’ real lives. With numerous lessons and activities, Hermsen demonstrates how even the most mundane, everyday items—from “stuff” to food to photographs—can spark the imagination of student poets.

Truly teacher-tested, Hermsen’s lessons draw on his extensive teaching career as well as a semester-long case study conducted in two high school English classes in Mt. Gilead, Ohio.

Activities include:

  • Using literature and art to spark ideas for poems
  • Transforming a routine field trip into a poetry-writing session
  • Exploring nature and students’ surroundings through a poetry night hike

Filled with student examples, this book illustrates that poetry doesn’t have to be boring. It can help students develop interpretive and creative thinking skills while helping them better understand the world around them, wherever they may live.

217 pp. 2009. Grades K–12. ISBN 978-0-8141-3608-9.

No. 36089