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Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization

Institute for Excellence in Writing

Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization


Introduce your students to the beauty of literature through the doorway of poetry. Enrich vocabulary while infusing reliably correct and sophisticated English language patterns into students' minds. How? By listening to and memorizing these classic poems and speeches, which are read with flair and finesse!

Author: Andrew PudewaLevel(s):

Primary, A, B, and C
Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization provides a system to reintroduce you and your children to a vital but often neglected source of powerful and sophisticated linguistic patterning available to children: memorized language, especially memorized poetry.

This teaching tool includes a book with ninety-six poems and speeches as well as all the poems and speeches read on CD for ease of memorization. Instructions, memory charts, certificates, and poet biographies are included, as well as a complementary Student Book as an e-book download. You will also receive a bonus DVD of Andrew Pudewa's conference talk Nurturing Competent Communicators.

Given the linguistic and cultural benefits of memorizing poetry, this resource may be one of the best uses of your available school hours. Recitation of memorized poems can easily be done away from a desk—perhaps in the car, while cooking or folding clothes, or during a walk. Memorizing new poems gets easier in direct proportion to the number of poems already learned; in other words, the more you have learned, the faster you can learn more.

The audio CD recordings included with the packet will facilitate learning through repetition so that students can master poems quickly and accurately. Be sure to read the introduction to this book frequently to be reminded of the importance of poetry memorization for the linguistic development of children. "Memorization is not only natural for young children, it is culturally powerful and educationally essential." 



Sample Poems

LEVEL ONE
The Ingenious Little Old Man by John Bennett

A little old man of the sea
Went out in a boat for a sail:
The water came in
Almost up to his chin

And he had nothing with which to bail.
But this little old man of the sea
Just drew out his jack-knife so stout,
And a hole with its blade
In the bottom he made,
So that all of the water ran out

LEVEL TWO
The Duke of Plaza-Toro by W.S. Gilbert

In enterprise of martial kind,
When there was any fighting,
He led his regiment from behind—
He found it less exciting.

But when away his regiment ran,
His place was at the fore, O—
That celebrated,
Cultivated,
Underrated
Nobleman,
The Duke of Plaza-Toro!

In the first and foremost flight, ha, ha!
You always found that knight, ha, ha!
That celebrated,
Cultivated,
Underrated
Nobleman,
The Duke of Plaza-Toro!

When, to evade Destruction’s hand,
To hide they all proceeded,
No soldier in that gallant band
Hid half as well as he did.

He lay concealed throughout the war,
And so preserved his gore, O!
That unaffected,
Undetected,
Well-connected
Warrior,
The Duke of Plaza-Toro!

In every doughty deed, ha, ha!
He always took the lead, ha, ha!
That unaffected,
Undetected,
Well-connected
Warrior,
The Duke of Plaza-Toro!

LEVEL THREE
Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;

For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.

Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air;

The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go;

They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.

Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all–

There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life’s gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.

Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.

There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a large and lordly train,

But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.

LEVEL FOUR
The Choir Invisible by George Eliot

O, may I join the choir invisible
Of those immortal dead who live again
In minds made better by their presence; live
In pulses stirred to generosity,
In deeds of daring rectitude, in scorn
Of miserable aims that end with self,
In thoughts sublime that pierce the night like stars,
And with their mild persistence urge men’s minds
To vaster issues….

May I reach
That purest heaven—be to other souls
The cup of strength in some great agony,
Enkindle generous ardor, feed pure love,
Beget the smiles that have no cruelty,
Be the sweet presence of good diffused,
And in diffusion ever more intense!
So shall I join the choir invisible,
Whose music is the gladness of the world.

 


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