It seems appropriate to follow up the Andrew Pudewa talk with one of his products - Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization. I have thought about getting this for a while and after listening to him recite poetry (he does the poems for the CD) I think that alone might be worth the investment. He approaches poetry memorization much like Suzuki approaches violin - as I mentioned in my last post. However, that is not a bad thing when the aim is to help students get the language and learn it by heart. This is not about analyzing poetry and critiquing it. It is about memorizing and enjoying it as the art form that it is. By exposing children to these more complicated and concise ways of expression you are helping build their writing arsenal and vocabulary.
Actually, I just bought Memoria Press' Poetry Package for late elementary grades. I think we will stick with that for now. At some point I could see introducing the poems found in IEW's materials- it really is for all ages. Again, one reason I appreciate the Language program we use is that it does have a poem a day so that I don't have to hunt and look for exposure to poetry. I know that she outlines a way to memorize the poems but we haven't been faithful to that. I am changing that come January.
I can only remember having to memorize one poem in 4th grade. It was traumatizing because I copied it incorrectly and left out a whole stanza. Instead my head is filled with lyrics to 80's song and every television jingle known to man. I expect my boys to aim higher and know MUCH more than I did. I also have them listen to Poem's Every Child Should Know on librivox sometimes.
Of course, Michael Clay Thompson also includes a poetics book as a part of each year of his program.
I know this concept of introducing phrasing works because my four year old is currently copying phrases he hears on his current favorite quite time listening, the Jesus Storybook. He has also taken some phrases from Peter Pan. It is funny to hear him try to figure these things out and use them correctly. Earlier today he was telling me all about the "terrifying Captain Hook". In the midst of our sickness and cold weather we watched a stage version of Peter Pan yesterday and he loved it.
Poetry, learn to love it!