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  1. #1
    iannou is offline Key Member
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    Seeking a poem for Chinese middle school kids

    Hi,

    I do hate to beg, but I'm worn out from searching the web. I seems like a no-brainer, but the criteria are hard to match.

    I'll start with an example of a poem that worked very well with Grade 7's last term. I'm not sure if it's proper to copy and paste a published work here, so here's a link to the poem on the author's website "The Sun"

    I am not well-versed in placing students by level, but I estimate the students to be from high beginner to low intermediate level. Language should be clean and simple -- but not too childish or simplistic (they are adolescents after all.) Themes should be transparent and universal.

    I could write a shopping list of what I think a suitable poem should have and not have (in terms of usage), but I don't want to limit my choices unnecessarily. I'll just tell you the context in which I'm teaching and hope that an idea pops for somebody.

    The kids are 14 to 16 years old. (Ideally, I'd like 2 poems.) I can't speak for all Chinese kids, but "mine" strike me as being a bit less wordly and sophisticated in some ways than North American kids of their age. The poem's got to be simple both in structure and vocabulary. If I have to pre-teach more than about 5 new words, I will have lost them. It should have 3 or 4 verses.

    This is essentially a presentation of something that sounds nice and which they can read in chorus after 2 or 3 repetitions. Repeating things in chorus is in their comfort zone. Their can be no discussion of themes, allegory, rhyming schemes - nada! I can commit 15-20 minutes to the whole process. Possibly it will be read once again the following week. It might sound dead boring as I've described it, but the 7th graders mostly adored the break from enforced routines and cycle of games.

    If you're interested in the challenge, please do have a look at Gareth Lancaster's "The Sun". (I swear I am not him or his minion.) It's just about perfect for 7th graders here, but a bit too childish for the grade 8's. If anyone knows where I can tap into a seam of similar poetry, please point me in the right direction.

    Thanks,
    Ian









  2. #2
    Esgaleth's Avatar
    Esgaleth is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Seeking a poem for Chinese middle school kids

    Hi Ian,

    It might be a far cry from what you have been looking for, leave alone the cultural issues. On the other hand, it could be worth starting a 'Middle-school-poetry-teachers'-corner' - you are not alone in this kind of search. Here are my 'two cents', take it or leave it

    Poems by adolescent on various topics

    Positive poems

    Carroll Lewis, my favourite, but not only

    I also have a paper book of poems sorted out by Grammar and probably can find a digital copy of it, in case you got interested.


  3. #3
    iannou is offline Key Member
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    Re: Seeking a poem for Chinese middle school kids

    Quote Originally Posted by Esgaleth View Post
    Hi Ian,

    It might be a far cry from what you have been looking for, leave alone the cultural issues. On the other hand, it could be worth starting a 'Middle-school-poetry-teachers'-corner' - you are not alone in this kind of search. Here are my 'two cents', take it or leave it
    I take it gladly! I've just had a quick browse at the first link and I already see some good possibilities. Poems written by teens and arranged by topic -- that narrows my search immensely.

    THANK YOU!!

    Ian
    (who just occasionally crawls out of the "Fun and Games" forum )

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