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HAVING FUN IN TEACHING AND LEARNING

ENGLISH
THROUGH LITERATURE (POETRY)

By: Jasmansyah
(An English teacher of SMAN 1 Sagaranten Sukabumi West
Java)

Language learning is closely related to the development of literary


and art. Learners are introduced to literary works and getting use to
with appreciating them through learning a language. A literary and the
developments of human life go along together. Man may begin to
appreciate literary works from early student hood, and it keeps going
when a student enters a formal education. However, literary
appreciation has been considered to be fail in language learning in our
country (Alwasilah, 2004). The failure is probably caused by the content
of language learning activities in the classrooms. Students have a very
limited experience in literature because they have been led to
understand literary works merely as texts and not more than that. They
have never been given any opportunity to expose their own opinion,
feeling, or argument toward literary works they read.
Language teaching and learning activities have been paying too
much attention to text orientation or factual aspects. According to
Rosenblatt (1991), a literary experience has to let students have
freedom in paying attention to the text they are approaching. Students
need to experience the poem or the story they read and express their
feelings and their own opinion about the poems or the stories.

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Poetry as part of literary works is important thing to be introduced
to students early, since it has specific characteristics. Poetry is not only
having specific characteristics, furthermore, it can be also used to say
something (Musthafa: 2004). It is important to be learnt by students
because most students in Indonesia don’t understand yet about poem in
term of: how to understand it, how to appreciate it, how to read etc.
Poetry makes us possible to know "how does it feel" to live in this world.
It makes us to be able to answers hard questions in our life and to
understand ourselves as well as the value system which is tightly kept
in our consciousness.
Thus, poetry is our response and evaluation towards our
experience with the real world and our opinion towards it. It is a
multidimensional quality of experience, a world in which we respond our
total sense, emotion, and thought, and its complete form can mobilize
the whole soul in an activity. Teachers in general are more familiar with
one single correct answer in reading activities (Musthafa, 2004). This is
why students feel useless to explore a text from their own experience,
and they consequently have less appreciation to literary works,
especially poetry with its limited words format.

Poetry is emotion recollected in tranquility and by recollecting, we


learn to feel, learn to experience nature in all its wild beauty, learn
about the mysteries of the universe, and learn about love, happiness,
joy and sorrow. We are enriched in more than one sense and are
instinctively transported into a world where rhythm, harmony and
creative forces integrate in the most delightful way possible.
Unfortunately, poetry is found to be missing in many people’s lives.
Teaching poetry is a means of establishing a link between mere
existence and life itself, thereby uplifting mortals to a higher plane of
excellence.

B. WHAT POETRY IS?


What exactly is poetry? There are as many definitions of poetry
as there are poets. Wordsworth defined poetry as "the spontaneous
overflow of powerful feelings;" Emily Dickenson said, "If I read a book

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and it makes my body so cold no fire ever can warm me, I know that is
poetry;" and Dylan Thomas defined poetry this way: "Poetry is what
makes me laugh or cry or yawn, what makes my toenails twinkle, what
makes me want to do this or that or nothing."
Actually, there are no comprehensive definitions of poetry. A good
definition for the classroom is words in an enclosed form that call
attention to themselves. The difference between poetry and regular
speech is that most poetry has more meaning per word than prose.
Words of a poem have an extra consciousness about themselves.
Because a poem is more concise than prose and measured, every word
counts. The words a poet uses are specifically chosen and “on purpose.”
Poetry changes the way in which words normally refer to things in order
to make us see things in a new way. “Poetry is concerned with the
massiveness, the multidimensional quality, of experience” (Brooks and
Warren 6).
C. CATEGORIES OF POETRY
1. The Confessional Poems
Confessional poetry is an intensely emotional, direct approach to
autobiographical content in which the poet removes the mask of
impersonality and candidly discusses a personal event or issue.
2. Socio-Political Poems
This poem is powerful in its political message and its use of figurative
language to convey this message
3. Free Verse
Simply put, free verse is poetry that does not have regular, patterned
rhythm and meter.
4. Sonnet
A Sonnet is a fourteen-line poem. The sonnet follows two basic patterns.
The English or Shakespearean sonnet consists of three quatrains and a
couplet with the rhyme scheme abab-cdcd-efef-gg. Traditional English
sonnets are written in iambic pentameter, which has five feet of an
unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. An Italian or
Petrarchan sonnet has an octave, or eight-line stanza, followed by a

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sestet or a six-line stanza. The first octave asks a question and the
sestet provides the answer.
5. Villanelles
A villanelle is a fixed-form that rhymes and repeats lines in a
predetermined patter. It is typically 19 lines and is comprised of six
stanzas: five tercets, three-lined stanzas, and a final quatrain. The first
and third lines of the first stanza alternate as the last line of the next
four stanzas and then form the final couplet in the quatrain.
6. Dramatic Monologues
“The Dramatic Monologue is a single speech by a fictional character or
an historical figure relating a situation or important moment to a silent
audience. The speaker usually reveals aspects of his personality of
which he is unaware” (Rozakis 189). The tone of the dramatic
monologue is conversational, and we get a real understanding of
character. The character speaks, but is controlled by the constraints of
the poem.

D. WHY LITERATURE (POETRY) IS IMPORTANT FOR PEOPLE’S


LIFE?

Literary works such - as poetry, drama, novels, and so on, have a


great influence to peoples' life. As an example, poetry, in general is a
way to say something (Musthafa: 2004). Furthermore Musthafa said that
the uniqueness of poetry is that it does not only say something but it
also says with a certain quality. The characterizations are among others
the beautiful rhythm and rhyme. An interrelated rhythm with our human
life experience can be revealed usually by poetry which touches
people's mind. Rhyme as a sound of poetry also relates with human life.
It is shown by baby's babbling and makes the baby satisfy. Rhythm and
rhyme construct human natural language and shows the nature of
poetry. In pre-literate society, rhythm and rhyme are manifested in a
magic formula (Musthafa, 2004).

When people's life is started with a close relationship with literary works, the
beauty and the gentleness of the literary works would help them to think and act at least as
gentle as the rhyme and rhythm of poetry. As a student introduced with a literary work for

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the first time, he may have opportunity to react toward the literary work - say a tale and
this will let him give his own opinion or feelings about the message and the people or other
characters described in the story.

Story telling is one of effective ways to encourage students to love goodness and
hate wickedness (Lestari, 2003). Parents need to encourage students to enjoy listening to
stories from books, magazines, and other sources. By doing this they have already plan a
seed of reading as a habit. When the students are getting older and they are able to read by
themselves, they will then love to read stories as much as they can, because experiencing
literary works has approved to be something fun.

However, that is not the whole approach to motivate students


having a habit of reading and let literary influence their life. The
students need to have an opportunity to share their readings or the
stories they have heard as well as their feelings and opinion toward the
stories or the readings.
Parents have a responsibility to select the stories and provide their
students with appropriate materials so that students would not pick up
inappropriate books or any other reading materials. Discussion between
parents and students about the content of the readings will also
encourage students to think objectively.
Tales, as part of literary works, has its own story grammar. It has a
potential power to stimulate students to use their emotion, intelligent,
and imagination to learn moral values related to their attitude. The
habit of listening to stories or tales, reading them from books or
watching them on television (or any other electronic media), is a way to
encourage students in developing their language ability and verbal
thinking which considered to be very important for their life in the
present as well as their future (Musthafa, 2003).
Besides story telling or reading stories activities, poetry reading is
also a suitable way to encourage people to experience literary works.
The problem is that people usually have already reacted wrongly toward
poetry. Rosenblatt (1978) explains that students are more familiar with
efferent reading. This kind of reading encourages readers to focus on
the reading text, the factual information from the text, without relating
the text to the readers' own experience, feeling, or opinion.

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Poetry makes us possible to know "how does it feel" to live in this
world. It makes us to be able to answers hard questions in our life and
to understand ourselves as well as the value system which is tightly
kept in our consciousness. Thus, poetry is our response and evaluation
towards our experience with the real world and our opinion towards it. It
is a multidimensional quality of experience, a world in which we respond
our total sense, emotion, and thought, and its complete form can
mobilize the whole soul in an activity. Teachers in general are more
familiar with one single correct answer in reading activities (Musthafa,
2004). This is why students feel useless to explore a text from their own
experience, and they consequently have less appreciation to literary
works, especially poetry with its limited words format.

E. TEACHING POETRY FOR STUDENTS


Poetry is emotion recollected in expressing tranquility. By
recollecting, we learn to feel, learn to experience nature in all its wild
beauty, learn about the mysteries of the universe, and learn about love,
happiness, joy and sorrow. We are enriched in more than one sense and
are instinctively transported into a world where rhythm, harmony and
creative forces integrate in the most delightful way possible.
Unfortunately, poetry is found to be missing in many people’s lives.
Teaching poetry is a means of establishing a link between mere
existence and life itself, thereby uplifting mortals to a higher plane of
excellence. How then do we teach poetry?
Some students love poetry and have a natural flair for it. They
love to read poetry and enjoy writing it too. Such students should be
encouraged to write without drilling into them the mechanics of writing
poetry. Rather than trigger an increased interest, it could actually turn
them off. On the other hand, Students not really interested in poetry
could become bored if the creative aspect is not instilled. In such
students then the mechanics of writing poetry should be inculcated.
Mechanical teaching of poetry does not really tax the little minds and it
may actually stimulate them to appreciate the dynamism which poetry
has. Other students may be interested only in the analysis of poetry and
hence enjoy only reading. Their interests must also be catered to.
The important point to consider in teaching poetry is teacher’s

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approach to this subject as it relates to each student. It is not always
true that the teachers must love the subject they are teaching to create
an interest in Poetry. Some students are naturally gifted. Many are born
with the interest in reading poetry, writing poetry or both. However, the
teacher may help or hinder the student's interest or otherwise provoke
an unknown, hidden interest. If the student is very much interested in
Poetry but yet receives too much teaching and focus on the mechanics,
without allowing the student to try their own hand at writing, the
student may become disinterested. If the teacher's approach is from the
creative aspect, not addressing enough mechanical teaching the
student could very well become bored and disinterested or lose an
unknown or hidden interest. A child not interested in Poetry or creative
writing would become bored with anything more than the mechanical
teaching. A child may be interested or enjoy reading and analysis but
nothing more
Basically there refers tare 2 approaches to the teaching of poetry,
the creative approach, which refers to how to write poetry and the
approach of instruction, which seeks to inform the student about the
mechanics, dynamics and analysis of poetry. It becomes important then
to identify what kind of student you are dealing with and adopt the right
approach. A balance between the 2 approaches is also possible.
Whenever we teach poetry, choose poetry that delights and poetry that
is suitable for their age. To capture and enrapture the little minds, you
need to find poetry that is captivating and arresting—poetry that is
individually delicate and sensitive.
When we teach poetry, read poetry aloud and encourage students
to read aloud. Make them memorize and choose poetry that they like,
make them recite and make them compose. Have the students write for
magazines and have them make poetry greetings. Hold poetry
workshops, organize poetry readings, tape poetry written by students
and play the tapes back, have “poetry of the week” contests and be as
imaginative as we can. Bring poetry to life and we will enliven the little
minds and in the process be enlivened.

F. APPROACHING THE TEACHING OF POETRY

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Sometimes teachers and students start from a position of 'this
poem has a hidden meaning that we have to find'. This approach,
although enjoyable for some, often over-complicates the process. The
best approaches to teaching poetry balance the enjoyment of the poem
for its own sake, with exploration of the craft that has gone into its
making.

Firstly, make sure that students are exposed to many forms of poetry,
so that they see that there is a whole range of genres they can imitate
or emulate. Draw out, early on, the key elements that differentiate
poetry from most prose:
 A structure based on lines not sentences;
 The importance of shape, layout, rhythm and sound (the look of the
poem on the page is not accidental, unlike most prose, where line
lengths are determined by the size of the page);
 The freedom of language to operate beyond conventional grammar
structures (e.g. to write in 'non-sentences').
It is also helpful if the students have a vocabulary at their
fingertips for discussing and writing about poetry (the use of words such
as metre, stanza, simile, image, and so on). However, be careful that in
the introduction of these words, this doesn't become a meaningless
exercise. It is far better to look at a poem and a particular phrase or
verse structure, discuss its effect and how it operates, and then
provides the terminology.
 Approaches to Bear in Mind
Poetry can be approached from many directions:
 Poems by the same poet, investigating similarities and differences;
 Poems by different poets on the same theme (e.g. attitudes to town
living, the birth of a student);
 Poems that share the same form or shape (e.g. Shakespeare's
sonnets to more modern versions);
 Poems that share similar sound patterns (e.g. use of alliteration,
iambic pentameter), which may tie in with their shape, too;

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 Poems or poets from a particular time, culture or society
 Structuring a Lesson

There are many approaches, and you might well use the structured
English lesson, such as: starter activity, whole-class work, guided group
work and plenary. Bear in mind that the lesson structure should not be
seen as a straightjacket and can be adjusted to suit the objectives. The
initial response you get from the students should be enthusiastic, so
perhaps particular effort should be given to a lively starter activity.

 Example of a starter activity

Start by writing a few words or a phrase from the poem on the board.
Ask students to 'interrogate' them. For example, taking a phrase from
the Caribbean poet James Berry's poem “Thoughts on my father”
(without telling students the title, or the fact it is from a poem), we
could write 'my first god' on the board. Ask students to explore the
phrase, and say what it suggests or tells them:

 'my': that the possessive pronoun suggests that the text is told from a
personal point of view?
 'first god': why a small 'g'? Did the person have lots of gods?
 'first': who would be your 'first god'? The person you looked up to?

 'first': what does this suggest? Did other gods replace the initial one?

Even before they look at the poem, the students can identify the
use of language - a form of metaphor. In this way, students can see
that, despite its difficulty, the language of the poem does convey
meanings and effects. In fact, the whole poem can be seen through this
one line.

Equally the starter activity could have begun with the title “Thoughts on
my father”, by asking students to list, very quickly, the attributes and
failings of a father figure close to them (parent, guardian, older member
of the family).

 Dealing with the whole text

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Not all poems will have difficult language and ideas. However,
with poems that do appear difficult, there are some simple techniques
we can use to help students. The key thing is to get beyond the 'blur of
words' on the page.
 Annotating a poem
Annotate a poem, that is, smother the text with questions,
underline the key words, or ones that don't make sense, circle the
sound patterns and so on. Annotation could be shown on an overhead
projector with another poem, or the process could be a whole-class one
with you making the annotations while the class suggests comments.
Annotation is a particularly good technique for individual work as it
helps students to formulate and marshal their own thoughts.
Once the 'blur' is overcome, often the more complex language
issues, themes and ideas can be addressed. However, it is always
helpful to get students to state what story the poem tells. The aim is not
for deep meaning, which students often want to leap to first - and fail -
but to state the obvious, which, until stated, might not be obvious.

G. HOW TO MOTIVATE STUDENTS TO WRITE POETRY?

A major problem facing teachers of creative writing is how to


motivate their students to write poetry. Most teachers have heard one
or more of their students complain, “I can’t write poetry” or “I don’t
know what to write.” Either students have never had a positive
experience with poetry and as a result they dislike it or they have never
been exposed to poetry in their homes or in school. We, as teachers,
can either ignore this area of creative writing or we can try to overcome
this negative attitude toward poetry. If we don’t teach writing, whether
it be poetry, prose, or compositions, who will in our schools? It is our
responsibility to offer the students the opportunity to write as much as
possible, for it is a lifetime skill essential for them to learn.
In this case, I do have my own viewpoints based on my own
philosophy of education developed from years of teaching writing to
students. I would like to share these basic observations:

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(1) Students learn more when they are actively involved in a process
than when they are sitting passively.
(2) Learning is enhanced when students are interacting with other
persons and that students can learn from one another as well as the
teacher.
(3) Because writing almost always involves self-disclosure, I am
convinced it must take place in a climate that is free from threat. If
the teacher provides the proper climate and practices writing on a
regular basis throughout the school year, students will write.
(4) Writing of any type is a skill to be practiced and not a given gift.
Students must be encouraged to discover and practice writing.
(5) Developing a skill such as writing poetry is generally most successful
when the skill is broken down into small steps or sub skills and
approached sequentially rather than randomly.
Creative expression in poetry is not easy to teach. The teacher
feels he/she must be a juggler in order to provide a proper balance
between the freedom to play with ideas and express feelings and the
discipline of literary demands. In trying to establish this delicate
balance, teachers may find a few principles useful.
Principle #1:
Create a motivating atmosphere in the classroom. The physical aspect
of the room must be given careful thought. The most effective group
and individual work can be accomplished in a room of sufficient size to
provide for maximum comfort. Tables and chairs are preferred to
conventional desks. Ample lighting is an absolute requirement.
Sample Activities
(1) Have the classroom take on the physical atmosphere of poetry.
Poems should be visually available. A wall space could be devoted
to poetry. Put up bulletin
boards that stimulate children to think about poetry.
(2) Consider a “poetry corner.” This space would include books of
poems, pictures, sculptures, models, objects, writing paper, pencils,
etc.

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Principle #2:
Allow students to freely express themselves. In all probability,
students have not been encouraged to express their personal ideas and
feelings. Teachers may need to place most of the emphasis at the
beginning of the year on helping students feel comfortable expressing
their genuine feelings. Students need to feel assured that they will not
be exposing themselves to ridicule if others learn their inner most
thoughts. The student must perceive their classmates as a unified group
which will be responsive, respectful and nonjudgmental.
Sample Activities
(1) Have students introduce themselves to the group. Periodically test
the students to see how well they are remembering names.
(2) Choose a partner and interview that person, trying to learn as many
facts about him or her as possible.
(3) Conduct sharing times such as: what was your happiest moment,
what qualities appeal to you in a friend, when did you experience
fear for the first time, etc. Give students a writing attitude inventory.
(4) Assign students to groups of three. Have them determine two things
that all three agree on, disagree on, etc.
(5) Have students self-appraise their writing process:
-What were the last four things you have written?
- How do you feel about writing poetry?
- Do you have any habits which help you get in the mood to write?
- How many hours do you spend writing?
- Do you write in one sitting or do you work on separate sections and
at various times?
Principle #3:
Offer models of good poetry as a way to teach the skills and techniques
that are the writer’s craft. This technique exposes students to a variety
of styles, to the use
of literary devices and to the approaches a writer can take.
Sample Activities:
(1) Teacher should read famous poems to the class such as:

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“Me”
Chairil Anwar,

When my time comes


No one's going to cry for me,
And you won't, either
The hell with all those tears!
I'm a wild beast
Driven out of the herd
Bullets may pierce my skin
But I'll keep coming,
Carrying forward my wounds and my pain
Attacking
Attacking
Until suffering disappears
And I won't give a damn
I want to live another thousand years

or

MY HEART HAS TOLD YOUR HEART


By : Jid Thobhani

My heart has told your heart,


I have fallen in love with you
My life, my love, trust me
As restless as I am, make yourself restless
Understand my heartbeat, please love me also

My heart has told your heart


I have fallen in love with you
If you say so, I'll tear down the moon and stars
This wind, this earth, I'll turn them back
What sight is in my eyes, what experience is this?
The river is close, the desert is far, why is there still thirst
I'll leave the world at your feet, meet my eyes
As restless as I am, make yourself restless
Understand my heartbeat, please love me also

My heart has told your heart


I have fallen in love with you
In my memories, in my dreams you come everyday
Why do you afflict me this way, my life?
From your heart, from your way I won't leave like that
This is a vow, this is my promise, I'll come back

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I'll steal you from the world, just wait a little
As restless as I am, make yourself restless
Understand my heartbeat, please love me also

My heart has told your heart


I have fallen in love with you
My life, my love, trust me
As restless as I am, make yourself restless
Understand my heartbeat, please love me also
http://www.poemhunter.com/p/m/poem.asp?poet

(2) Encourage students to read poetry aloud to themselves and to each


other.
(3) Use choral reading of poetry in your classroom. It’s a technique
which adds to children’s enjoyment of poetry by directly involving
them.
Once students gain the confidence in writing their own poetry, the
teacher can introduce adult poems into the classroom. The teacher can
make this transition knowing that students already know what it’s like to
write poetry. Students will have enough experience to make them feel
like poets and feel close to poetry; this should help them in reading and
understanding what other poets have written. The purpose of teaching
poetry to students is to experience what so many other people have
found in poetry, not just so you will know more, or understand more, but
so you will enjoy more. Surely one of the major purposes of education is
to increase people’s capacity to enjoy life.

H. TEACHING READING THROUGH POETRY & HOW TO READ IT

 How to get started


Before teaching poetry to the classroom, the first step that must
be done is preparing a pocket folder for each student labeled "Poetry"
and preparing copies of two poems. On the first meeting, begin this
activity by reading a poem to the students. Then pass out a copy of the
poem to each student and reread it to the students as they follow along.
Then read the poem together chorally. Poetry lends itself to choral

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reading because of its rhythm. Follow the same procedure with the
second poem.
On the next session, reread the poems chorally. Use the poems to
do some word study activities. You might have the students search for
rhyming words, or synonyms of words you give them. On the third
meeting, a teacher might introduce another new poem by reading it to
them, passing out the poem, reading it again, and then have the
students read it chorally. Then read the old poems.
By the third meeting the students usually will have become fluent
reading the old poems. So if the poem contains conversational parts
(and try to pick many poems that have this feature) assign an individual
student to read a character's part. The remainder of the class chorally
reads any parts that would be considered narration. The students will
enjoy the opportunity to read the individual parts. They have to be
really alert and tracking to come in at the proper place.
On the next day, teacher could introduce a new poem by reading
it to the class. We try to do this with lots of expression to give the
students some idea of the possibilities of the poem. We may want to
pick poems that go with the subject matter we are studying or the
season of the year. Pass out the poem and have the students follow
along as we reread it to them. Ask students to read the poem chorally.
In this case, a teacher might be as a leader to keep the class together.
If there is new vocabulary in the poem that is crucial to
comprehension, discuss it the first day the poem is introduced. As
poems become old poems, use them to work on word skills. These can
be done orally, or as pencil and paper activities. Allow students to read
individual character parts during the group choral reading.
Read old poems as mini-Reader Theater scripts. This should be
done after the students are very familiar with the poem. A student is
assigned to each of the character/narrator parts or to a particular stanza
of the poem. The group of students presents the poem at the front of
the classroom. If we have too many poems to read them all at once,

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have the students take turns picking an old favorite to read. This can go
on as long as we need.
 Using poems to practice skills
Relating skills to what is actually being read is always a good
practice. Skills practiced in isolation on a worksheet do not always
transfer to actual reading. The one caution here is that we do not do this
to excess. The main purpose of reading the poems is to create
enthusiasm for reading. Always turning it into a skills drill can defeat
that purpose.
Examine the poem to decide which skill to work on. If the poem
has numerous contractions, then use that poem to work on contractions.
If it has many short vowel words, use it to work on short vowels. We can
make these oral activities or make up a worksheet for the students to
complete as a written assignment.
Some of the skills I worked into these sessions:
 Find synonyms/antonyms. We would say a word and the students
would search for a synonym/antonym. Sometimes we told them in
which stanza to search.
 Work on alphabetical order using words from old poems.
 Use words from old poems in word sorts.
 Find the nouns, verbs, adjectives.
 Find the contractions and possessives. Since both have apostrophes,
the students had to use the context to decide which it was.
 Paraphrase a short poem. We can see the rhythm of the poem
disappear as it turns to prose. It really illustrates the difference.
I. CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES IN TEACHING & LEARNING
POETRY
• Literature Circles: Give each group of students’ different
anthologies or different copies of individual poems to read and
discuss. The teacher may request that students find poems that all
focus on a specific theme or allow students to select poems that
appeal to them as a group.

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• Poetry Journals: Have students keep a poetry journal throughout
the unit in which they copy or paste poems that appeal to them,
along with their responses to the poems. Their responses may be
written answers to questions such as the following: What interests
you about the poem? Do the ideas in the poem connect with other
selections that you know? Does the poem connect with a personal
experience you have had? Encourage students to add illustrations or
pictures to extend their responses. As well, they may wish to include
their own poetry.
• Children's Poetry Anthology: Have students assemble a
collection of poems. Encourage them to illustrate these with their
own drawings or cut-out pictures. Extend this project by having
students practise reading these selections aloud, then visiting an
elementary school to read aloud to students of the appropriate age.
• Oral Reading or Recitation: Have students choose a poem to
read or recite aloud to their Literature Circles or the whole class.
They may do this individually or in Readers Theatre or choral reading
groups.
• Poetry Partners: Have students in the same or different grades
partner to share their own and other poetry. Provide opportunities
for them to read aloud to their partners and to discuss their
experiences with each selection. Have partners develop an
anthology of favourite selections, including partner dialogue
responses recorded next to each poem.
• Teacher Read Aloud: Read poetry aloud to the students daily.
Talk about why you enjoy the poems. This provides opportunities to
introduce and discuss specific poetic formats, styles, techniques,
and language. For example, one way to introduce how description is
used in poetry to evoke images is to give students copies of the
poems so they can follow along as they listen, and ask them to draw
what they think the poem describes. Then have them circle the
words that helped to evoke the images that they drew. Discuss how

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the circled words created the images and how students can use the
technique in their own writing.
• Prose and Poetry - What's the Difference?: One way to help
students understand what differentiates a poem from other forms is
to have them read and compare a short story and a poem about a
similar topic. Have them create a chart or Venn diagram on which
they list the similarities and differences between the two genres.
Another way to help them discover distinguishing characteristics of a
poem is to give them short paragraphs that paraphrase the poems
they will read; then have them read the paragraph and match it with
the poem it paraphrases. Follow up with a discussion about the
similarities and differences between the prose paragraph and the
poem.
• Writing Poetry: Use models of various types of poetry and have
students experiment with writing each type. Some types of poetry
include haiku, limerick, lyric, sonnet, diamante, concrete, ballad, and
free verse. Encourage students to go through the writing process
just as they do when writing other genres.
• Looks Like ... Sounds Like: Audio and video recordings are
useful as models of oral reading of poetry, and demonstrate the
need for expression and clarity. As well, video recordings combine
words with images to give students one interpretation of the poem.
Encourage students to create their own audio or video
interpretations of favourite selections (their own and/or others'
poetry).
• Sounds Like - Teaching about Similes and Metaphors: Have
students close their eyes and listen to the sounds around them.
Then ask them to isolate one sound and focus on it for several
seconds, imagining what it sounds like. Have them create sound
pictures by writing what the sound is like (e.g., A tapping pencil
sounds like a clock ticking.).
• Set to Music - Performing Poetry: Select poems or song lyrics
that can be, or have been, set to music. Have students work out the

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meaning conveyed through the words and rhythm by speaking or
singing the poem to the music chosen. Encourage them to involve
the audience by having members participate in the chorus or
repeated phrases. Have students develop
appropriate actions to accompany the words.
• Poetic Dialect: Read several poems that use distinctive dialects.
Examine the words and phrases and discuss the differences between
standard English and the dialect, or between the students' use of
language and the dialect in the poem. Explore how the dialect
affects the meaning and enjoyment of the poem for each student.
• Meet the Poet: Have students select several poems by one poet,
then research the poet and share their findings with the class in
written, oral, and/or visual form. If possible, invite a poet to class to
read his or her poetry.

J. CONCLUSION
 Poetry as part of literary works is important thing to be introduced
and taught to students early, since it has specific characteristics.
 Literary works such - as poetry, drama, novels, and so on have a great
influence to peoples' life;
 When people's life is started with a close relationship with literary
works, the beauty and the gentleness of the literary works would
help them to think and act at least as gentle as the rhyme and
rhythm of poetry;
 It is not always true that the teachers must love the subject they are
teaching to create an interest in Poetry.
 Poetry is not only having specific characteristics, furthermore, it can
be also used to say something (Musthafa: 2004).
 Poetry is meant to be read, heard, and enjoyed, rather than
"studied".
 Poetry is emotion recollected in tranquility and by recollecting, we
learn to feel, learn to experience nature in all its wild beauty, learn
about the mysteries of the universe, and learn about love,

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happiness, joy and sorrow;
 The basic problem in teaching literature s well as poetry in
Indonesia is the lack of teachers’ competencies in teaching it to the
students, so teachers have reluctance to teach by means of
literature (poetry);
 Some students assume that literature is only for students
who have language program, rather than social and science
program;
 In teaching poetry as well as drama, tales, etc, could be
applied in teaching four skills of language (reading, writing, speaking
and listening). Moreover, by means of poetry, we might transfer to
the students some vocabularies, structure, pronunciation as well as
the four skills in English.
 Teaching English using poetry can be proper alternative in
teaching English for students, to increase students’ motivation and
interesting in learning English;
 By means of poetry, we can expand and promote the
important of literary work as well poetry to color people’s life, so that
literary work can interested thing to be learnt by every people;
 In terms of teaching poetry, a teacher must be more active
and innovative to design teaching material, teaching aid, teaching
methods in order to have the process of the instruction is more vary
and also interested;
 Teaching poetry means have students to be able to
understand the values from the poem, students are able to read
(aesthetics reading) and also experience to the full of the poems’
content;
 Before teaching poetry, teacher could select which of the
four skills in language would be emphasized to, so, the goal of the
instruction is measurable and assessable;
 Teachers’ understanding of approaches, methods, in
teaching poetry is very important to ensure that our students like
and interested in learning it. Besides, it is usable to proof that

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literary works is only for particular group/people is wrong;
 The most important thing to know that, in teaching poetry
for SMA students should be more emphasized on practice rather
than theory.
 The awareness of every people is highly necessary to make
literature as well as poetry is liked by people (learners or public
society).
 By understanding some information above, as a language
teacher we are holding a key position, what we are going to do to
keep the existence of poetry as part of literary works;
 Language teachers might also give some explanation for
students the important of literary works as well as poetry in this life.

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