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Poetry and Photography:
A Homeschool Group Study of the Power of Words and Images
What is poetry?
We love this definition:
“Poetry is a form of literature that follows specific forms to create a rhythm and/or rhyme scheme. Without those elements we have the poetic form known as ’free verse,’ but it retains an elevated language that still makes it poetry.
The noun poetry goes all the way back to the Latin poesis, meaning both ‘poetry’ and ‘making.’ It usually refers to the specific genre of poetic works, a wide variety of styles tied together by the structured use of the language but is also used to describe any especially beautiful language. The French writer Voltaire once said, ‘Poetry is the music of the soul, and, above all, of great and feeling souls. ‘ ” (vocabulary.com)
But if you want to simplify the definition for kids simply say,
“Poetry is a form of writing that gives a snapshot of life. It makes us notice things and feel emotions. And it does this with descriptive language.”
That isn’t an “official” definition. The dictionary says, “Poetry is literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style and rhythm; poems collectively or as a genre of literature”
But I hope ours helps kids understand it a bit better.
A Snapshot of Life: Why Poetry and Photography Go Together
Consider what photographers do. They capture moments. We only see a part of all that surrounds them, because they choose their subjects carefully and frame their pictures in a way to emphasize the story they want to tell.
Photographers pay attention to the details, so they can pick the best way to tell their stories. They notice light and color, balance and proportion. They like using unexpected perspectives at times.
Photographs that are beautiful, unusual, eye-catching, and sometimes even funny make us want to stop and look. The language of poetry does the same thing. It makes us want to look, to consider. Poetry makes us feel.
Why Write Poetry
Yes, the study of poetry benefits children. But perhaps it is most beneficial when they write it. Why? They have become a photographer of life. They must focus, to look at something from a different perspective even. They notice the details.
When writing poetry, children are learning how to organize their ideas in order to express them succinctly. They are learning to express themselves in unique and creative ways. They learn the power of a well-chosen word.
And no, your 1st grader may not appear to be doing these things, but as they continue to read, hear, and write poetry you’ll see these things emerge.
Poetry and Photography: A Homeschool Group Curriculum of the Power of Words and Images
It’s our hope that this study will be a delightful, fun, and educational tool for your homeschool group. These lessons are designed to be covered over a five-week period, but you can adapt them in any way you want!
Lesson 1: How to Write Pattern Poetry
Lesson 2: Writing Poems Inspired by Photography
Lesson 3: Tips to Take Better Pics
Lesson 4: Photography Field Trip Adventure
Lesson 5: My Photo Inspired Poem