Poetry Dictation: Decrease the Pace to Increase the Appreciation


This workshop introduces and then practices poetry dictation. We'll discuss the ways in which this process works and how we've made this very old practice feel new again in our classroom. The premise is simple and traditional. Students copy -- by hand -- a poem as it is read to them one line at a time. Each line is read twice, including punctuation marks. The pace is slow, the tone deliberate and without inflection. Afterwards, we'll read the poem again, with feeling; then we'll discuss it. Students report that they understand the poems better for having written them down, that they remember them longer, and that dictation makes it easier for them to frame their questions. Studies show that dictation improves spelling, pronunciation, and listening and writing skills; that it promotes analytical thinking and fosters a love of language. For teachers, dictation requires little preparation. It can augment a unit or stand alone. It can take the first few minutes or the entirety of a class. More important, it has the potential to engage eager and reluctant students alike, and it works across grade levels and abilities. Poetry dictation is therefore a valuable asset to any Liberal Arts classroom. Session participants will practice traditional dictation and learn contemporary adaptations and improvisations. They'll receive access to everything we've done that's been successful over the years. This session will be geared toward the secondary level but can be adapted easily for middle and elementary school classrooms; all are welcome.

Author Information
Connor Ryan, Marblehead High School, United States

Paper Information
Conference: IICE2023
Stream: Primary & Secondary Education

The full paper is not available for this title

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon