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Cold Plums and the Old Men in the Water: Let Children Read and Write "Great" Poetry

by Janine L. Certo

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Cold Plums and the Old Men in the Water: Let Children Read and Write "Great" Poetry

Grades 3 – 8
Type Journal
Published November 2004
Publisher International Literacy Association



This article begins with a rationale for using "great" poems with children and the justification for linking the reading and writing of poetry. First, the author provides tips for teachers to use when selecting adult poems and offers a brief bibliography of classic poetry collections and anthologies appropriate for children. Next, suggestions for presenting and reading poems to students are given. Last, with anecdotes from her fifth-grade classroom, she discusses how to use the reading of poetry as an opportunity for writing poetry in the classroom. The poetry link, which is a writing suggestion, statement, or assignment that stems from an original text, is a springboard to students' own writing. The author shows how this link, different from the traditional writing prompt, is created by students and the teacher, with the former taking the lead. The author advocates teaching "great" poetry to students to enhance students' perceptions, improve their writing, challenge their minds, and enrich their lives.

Certo, J.L. (2004, November). Cold Plums and the Old Men in the Water: Let Children Read and Write "Great" Poetry. The Reading Teacher, 58(3), 266271. doi: 10.1598/RT.58.3.4


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