EDUO 9225: The Reluctant Poet

Instructor: Nancy Cecil


Welcome to “The Reluctant Poet”! The content learned in this class will enable K-8 teachers, even those who have never loved poetry themselves, to motivate ALL students–including reluctant writers and English learners–to write poetry using literacy scaffolds that will invite them to pour their unique ideas into existing poetic formats. Using these formats, and the poetic devices of alliteration, onomatopoeia, rhyme, and/or repetition, students will begin to see poetry as an exciting and powerful vehicle through which to experiment with their own words, perceptions and ideas. By meeting the requirements of this class, participating teachers will have taught a unit on poetry, which includes having children read published authors’ poems to themselves and others, having them write their own poems which will be included in a class book, and inviting children to share their poems with an audience through a multimedia poetry reading. The Common Core Anchor Standards pertaining to the writing of poetry will be met:

Anchor Standard #3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

Anchor Standard #4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Anchor Standard #5: Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, and trying a new approach.

Anchor Standard #10: Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, or audiences.

The attainment of these standards will be evaluated through an assessment provided by the instructor.

Also, changes in attitudes toward poetry, if any, will be summarized, charted, and analyzed through the use of a Poetry Attitudinal Survey, also provided by the instructor, conducted before and after the poetry unit.

Course Materials

The following books are required for the course and can be ordered directly from the publisher or at

Cecil, N. L (1994). For the Love of Language: Poetry for Every Learner. Winnipeg, Canada: Portage & Main.

Cecil, N. L. (1996). For the Love of Poetry: Poetry for All Learners. Winnipeg, Canada: Portage & Main.

Other helpful books (optional) available at Amazon:

Mack, N. (2005). Teaching Grammar with Playful Poems: Engaging Lessons with Model Poems by
Favorite Poets that Motivate Kids to Learn GError! Hyperlink reference not valid.rammar. New York: Scholastic.

Sycamore, B. (2011). Perfect Poems for Teaching Vocabulary: Delightful Poems with Easy Teaching Routines to Help Young Learners Expand and Enrich their Vocabulary. New York: Scholastic.

Walther, M, & Fuhler, C. (2010). Teaching Struggling Readers with Poetry: Engaging Poems with MiniLessons that Target and Teach Phonics, Sight Words, Fluency and More—Laying the Foundation for Reading Success. New York: Scholastic.

Students are also encouraged to use the following websites and videos as resources:

Course Objectives

After completing this course, teachers will be able to:

  1. Plan and implement a unit of poetry to teach to children using a variety of literacy scaffolds.
  2. Use a personal biography of poetry books and anthologies to inspire young poets.
  3. Utilize the activity “Poem in my Pocket” to increase interest in reading published poems and sharing them orally.
  4. Teach students the oral poetry techniques of refrain, line-at-a–time, antiphonal, and unison.
  5. Conduct a multimedia poetry reading with students.
  6. Summarize and analyze data from an attitude survey to chart changes in attitudes toward poetry as a result of the poetry unit.
  7. Reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of the poetry unit.
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  • Price: $405
  • 3 Units

Instructor: Nancy Cecil