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Voices from the Middle, Vol. 4, No. 1, February 1997

Cover Art for Voices from the Middle, Vol. 4, No. 1, February 1997

Table of Contents

Issue Theme: Poetry

  • The Writing Lesson (For Danling Fu)

    Donald H. Graves and Danling Fu

    Abstract: Although Graves' poem, The Writing Lesson, expresses feelings we've all experienced when learning new tasks, Danling Fu provides context by describing how Chinese children learn to write calligraphy.

    Keywords: Middle, Literature, Writing

  • The Power of the Particular

    Ralph Fletcher

    Abstract: Describes how writing with specifics can transform poetry, helping to create vivid pictures in the reader's mind. Offers three of the author's own poems that illustrate the judicious use of detail.

    Keywords: Middle, Literature

  • A Poet's Vision

    Suzanne Marshall and Dan Newman

    Abstract: Describes a series of activities to help middle school students develop an artist's vision and then convey that vision through poetry. Describes how lessons progress from looking at concrete objects to observations of settings and characters, gradually adding memory and imagination to direct observation, and finishing with revision. Notes that students' poetry and prose became richer and more powerful.

    Keywords: Middle, Literature

  • Salamanca Hiddle is Alive and Well: Developing a Palette for Poetry

    Andrea Davis

    Abstract: Describes how one eighth-grade teacher, disturbed by students' ignorance of the variety of poetry available to them, developed a poetry anthology assignment, in which students immersed themselves in poetry for three weeks, each one choosing and creating a poetry anthology comprised of 20 poems. Notes students' enthusiasm for the project and pride in its results.

    Keywords: Middle, Literature

  • Stealing a Piece of the World and Hiding It in Words

    Wendy King

    Abstract: Eighth-grade teacher Wendy King invited her students into the world of poetry by asking for their definitions, and then immersing them in poetry reading to refine those initial definitions. Thoughts that breathe, words that burn, a vocal picture. Try her strategies after reading this article.

    Keywords: Middle, Literacy, Pedagogy, Writing

  • Searching for the Speaker

    John Anzul

    Abstract: Argues that students are capable of discovering a great deal about a poem simply by exploring their thoughts, ideas, and feelings instead of worrying about whether their analysis matches that of the teacher. Presents a "lively and insightful" discussion with a group of sixth graders on Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening."

    Keywords: Middle, Literature

  • Secret Places

    Kerry Ridolfi

    Abstract: Argues that children are as deep as the ocean, with secret places inside of them waiting to be opened. Notes that it is powerful for students to learn they can make sense of the world through words, and describes inviting them into poetry as they read poetry, create poetry packets, and write and revise poems.

    Keywords: Middle, Literature

  • Audience and Revision: Middle Schoolers Slam Poetry

    Judith Jester

    Abstract: Describes organizing a poetry "slam" (a contest in which people read their original poems and listeners cast votes for their favorites) involving 200 eighth graders from two different schools. Discusses how this experience made vivid for students the need to write for an audience and to revise.

    Keywords: Middle, Literature

  • Message from the Editors

    Maureen Barbieri and Linda Rief

    Abstract: We know that poetry is integral to true literacy, but how do middle school teachers and students make room for poetry in their lives? In this themed issue, we learn that poetry is thriving in their classrooms. Children read it and writing it, and as they do, they begin to see the world and their place in new ways.

    Keywords: Middle

* Journal articles are provided in PDF format and can be opened using the free Adobe® Reader® program or a comparable viewer. Click here to download and install the most recent version of Adobe Reader.

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