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How PoetrySoup Can Help in Your Classroom

Written by: terri stiles

     There are many ways that PoetrySoup can help teachers in their classrooms. I have personally used PoetrySoup to discourage plagiarism, allow my students to express their emotions and assist my students in developing critical analysis skills. I hope that many teachers will respond to my post and share how they have used PoetrySoup as well.

     To discourage plagiarism I show the students my poem “Aunt Dee’s Daisies”. I explain that this poem is based on real people and real events in my life. Then I ask them how I would feel if someone stole it and said that they thought of the poem and that they wrote the poem.  I show them how many poets have been appreciated for centuries and that there is no time limit for plagiarism. Simply put, they can’t copy poetry; recent or old.

     Many of my students have had experiences in their lives that have deeply touched their emotions. Whether it be international students or local ones every student has a story to tell. I share with them many of the wonderful narrative poems on PoetrySoup and then have them write a narrative poem of their own and publish it on PoetrySoup. This allows them to see how other people express complex emotions and how they can artfully express theirs.

     Critically analyzing writing is a key component of every classroom. I have my students pick some poems they like on PoetrySoup and some they don’t care for. We then work on reviewing the poems and practicing positive feedback as well as feedback when we think something should change. This gets them ready for their classroom peer reviews.

      Writing on PoetrySoup has helped me in so many ways. By encouraging my students to write all sorts of poetry on Poetry Soup I give them the freedom to express themselves and bring a connection of feelings to others.