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Teaching Poetry In High School

Rust, Carla
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My presentation will suggest a new approach to teaching poetry in high school with a primary focus in contemporary poetry, and introducing students to the relevance of poetry. My project is founded on the idea that high school poetry curriculum tends to focus on format and tradition, which often fails to catch students' attention, and leads to a disinterest in poetry later in life. My idea for the project was inspired by my own experience in high school, which was sub-par, compared to my experience in college, particularly under the instruction of Kate Northrop. Her ability to introduce students to poetry in an interesting and unintimidating way led me to believe that the reason many students dislike poetry could be the way it is introduced to students. Through examination of existing curriculum and through surveys, the problems with the current method will be identified. Through work with Vista Charter School, a school for non-traditional and high-risk students in my hometown, as well as work with Kate Northrop and the selection of poems and exercises, I will outline strategies for improving curriculum, as well as offer a justification for why an interest in poetry is important in the first place.
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University of Wyoming Libraries