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IMWAYR: Narrative Poetry

Monday Linky from Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers!

Narrative Poetry

     I love reading my students narrative poetry.   Some examples would be Brown Girl Dreaming, Inside Out and Back Again, A Diamond in the DesertThe Crossover, Out of the Dust, Locomotion, October Morning, and Love that Dog.  
     Narrative prose tells a story.  It is written in free verse.  Reading in narrative prose forces children to think deeper (accessing higher levels of Webb's Depth of Knowledge) since the language is so sparse.  Narrative poetry is especially accessible because it is written in verse with no strictures (number of syllables, rhyming, etc.).
     Kids love them because of the short format.  They are also especially powerful.  Read this from The Crossover by Kwame Alexander:

Basketball Rule #1 

In this game of life 
your family is the court 
and the ball is your 
No matter how good 
     you are, 
no matter how down 
    you get, 
always leave 
your heart 
on the court.

Alexander, Kwame (2014-03-18). The Crossover (p. 22). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition. 
I mean, how powerful is that?

    Are you learning some history?  Try A Diamond in the Desert by Kathryn Fitzmaurice, which is about the Japanese-American internment during WW2.

Gila River was where 
I would turn thirteen, 
and live with my mama 
and my sister, while 
waiting for my papa to be 
brought back from Fort 
Lincoln, North Dakota, 
where the FBI had sent 
him so they could find 
out more about him after 
Pearl Harbor was

Fitzmaurice, Kathryn (2012-02-16). A Diamond in the Desert (p. 9). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition. 
Besides, Kathryn Fitmaurice is super sweet.

Learning about civil rights?  Then you need to read Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodsen.  It just won the John Newbery Medal and the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work.  Read this:

Because we have a right, 
     my grandfather tells 
we are sitting at his feet 
     and the story tonight 

why people are marching 
     all over the South— 

to walk and sit 
     and dream wherever we

First, they brought us
Then we worked for free.
     Then it was 1863,
and we were supposed
     to be free but we

And that's why people
     are so mad.

Woodson, Jacqueline (2014-08-28). Brown Girl Dreaming (Newbery Honor Book) (p. 72). Penguin Young Readers Group. Kindle Edition. 
Ms. Woodsen works closely with #TCRWP so you know she's good!

     I love these books for teaching another form of poetry, for applying the comprehension strategies of visualization, inferring and synthesis.  I find them an especially easy way for kids to access history.

     Give these amazing books a try.  They will reach your heart.

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