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Rose, Where Did You Get That Red?: Teaching Great Poetry to Children

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A classic that revolutionized the way children are taught to read and write poetry. The celebrated poet Kenneth Koch conveys the imaginative splendor of great poetry--by Blake, Donne, Stevens, Lorca, and others--and then shows how it maybe taught so as to help children write poetry of their own. For this edition, the author has written a new introduction and a special afte A classic that revolutionized the way children are taught to read and write poetry. The celebrated poet Kenneth Koch conveys the imaginative splendor of great poetry--by Blake, Donne, Stevens, Lorca, and others--and then shows how it maybe taught so as to help children write poetry of their own. For this edition, the author has written a new introduction and a special afterword for teachers.


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A classic that revolutionized the way children are taught to read and write poetry. The celebrated poet Kenneth Koch conveys the imaginative splendor of great poetry--by Blake, Donne, Stevens, Lorca, and others--and then shows how it maybe taught so as to help children write poetry of their own. For this edition, the author has written a new introduction and a special afte A classic that revolutionized the way children are taught to read and write poetry. The celebrated poet Kenneth Koch conveys the imaginative splendor of great poetry--by Blake, Donne, Stevens, Lorca, and others--and then shows how it maybe taught so as to help children write poetry of their own. For this edition, the author has written a new introduction and a special afterword for teachers.

30 review for Rose, Where Did You Get That Red?: Teaching Great Poetry to Children

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kathrynn

    I was disappointed in this one and it was not at all what I thought. I was looking for a book to help inspire kids to read and write poetry. First of all, there are two (2!) very long introductions by the author that take up 1/4 of the entire book. Secondly, the type set used is too small, the paragraphs are too long, and the book could use a good edit. Third, the author includes 10 poems in this book. Followed by each poem are poems written by his students. WTH? While I am sure the students (and I was disappointed in this one and it was not at all what I thought. I was looking for a book to help inspire kids to read and write poetry. First of all, there are two (2!) very long introductions by the author that take up 1/4 of the entire book. Secondly, the type set used is too small, the paragraphs are too long, and the book could use a good edit. Third, the author includes 10 poems in this book. Followed by each poem are poems written by his students. WTH? While I am sure the students (and parents) are thrilled to have their child's poems forever memorialized in a book, I'm scratching my head at the significance for teaching poetry to kids. The poems the author includes are: 1. The Tyger by William Blake 2. The Argument of His Book by Robert Herrick 3. Songs by William Shakespeare 4. A Valediction:Forbidding Mourning by John Donne 5. Song of Myself, Sections 1 & 2, by Walt Whitman 6. Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird by Wallace Stevens 7. This is Just to Say; The Locusts Tree in Flower; Between Walls by William Carlos Williams 8. Romance Sonombulo; Arbole, Arbole by Federico Garcia Lorca 9. Into the Dusk-Charged Air by John Ashbery 10. Voyelles by Arthur Rimbaud The above takes up the bulk of the book. The last section is "Anthology" and includes numerous poems and at the bottom of each, the author talks about ways to explain the poem to a child. This is the best section; sadly, it is less than 1/2 of the book. Finally, I hate when the synopsis for a book has other peoples opinions on the book and not what the book is about. Ack! I had to get the synopsis for this book for this Site from Barnes and Noble and it's very brief.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gronk

    This is a difficult book to rate. I rated it so highly because I wish I had had Koch as a teacher in grade school. He illustrates how words and poetry can be interesting and fun. He illustrates that rhyme or meter aren't necessary for poetry - form isn't paramount. (Even when teaching haiku.) Reading poems from his classes is interesting. How do you get kids interested in writing poetry? Read this and follow along.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    Reading for my thesis. Koch looks at poetry through a similar lens as Making Your Own Days, but this book presents ten lessons, each lesson focuses on one poem each, but Koch combines the teaching of reading poetry with the teaching of writing poetry. For my devices in my project, I will not be teaching poetry writing as a way to teach reading poetry as he does, so this one is a little less relevant to me than the other...but am going to look at the ways that he looks at the poems and attempt to Reading for my thesis. Koch looks at poetry through a similar lens as Making Your Own Days, but this book presents ten lessons, each lesson focuses on one poem each, but Koch combines the teaching of reading poetry with the teaching of writing poetry. For my devices in my project, I will not be teaching poetry writing as a way to teach reading poetry as he does, so this one is a little less relevant to me than the other...but am going to look at the ways that he looks at the poems and attempt to parallel his suggestions otherwise. His pedagogy seems to amount to stripping each poem down to its bare essentials. The yger is a "living things" poem, Song of Myself is a "boasting" poem, etc. Kind of annoying as a poet, but functional and practical for teaching poetry to children.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Literary Mama

    Koch believes that children can enjoy poetic heavies like Blake, Donne, and Lorca—as long as they’re taught with joy. This book features lesson plan ideas and stories from Koch's long career as a poet and world-renowned teacher. Brilliant, inspiring, and invigorating." For more recommendations on craft books, visit Literary Mama's Essential Reading List for September: http://www.literarymama.com/litreflec... Koch believes that children can enjoy poetic heavies like Blake, Donne, and Lorca—as long as they’re taught with joy. This book features lesson plan ideas and stories from Koch's long career as a poet and world-renowned teacher. Brilliant, inspiring, and invigorating." For more recommendations on craft books, visit Literary Mama's Essential Reading List for September: http://www.literarymama.com/litreflec...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Elisabeth

    The fact Koch got a little 1960s LES writer to get down "rose, where did you get that red?" on paper is a testament to his work. This book is essential for reading, writing, and talking about poetry with kids. Most notable is the idea of teaching someone rather antiquated, say Blake/Shakespeare, to six year olds. Detailed lesson plans, example and sample poems, invaluable.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Metzdorf

    Pretty cool concept, teaching classic poems by Blake, Shakespeare, Whitman, etc. to children. Not the sort of book to read for enjoyment. More of a reference book that is pedagogically engaging...Some of the children's poetry is amazing, but mostly kids suck at poetry so it wasn't the most entertaining read

  7. 5 out of 5

    Noor Al-samarrai

    I think the poems he used were too childish and arcane. But that's just my opinion. I'd prefer to teach kids poems that are more exciting than Blake's Tyger.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Eric Zimmerman

    Basically, you simplify the forms of great poems and then have students write their own, and they feel smart and special. It actually works that easily in praxis.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    C'mon, who doesn't love poems by kids? And Koch - bless him.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mary Louise

    Great for poetry study on your own or with children.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Eric Hinkle

    This book is a delight! Koch picks some great, classic poems and tells you some ways to teach them to children, and then he samples the children's response poetry. At the end is an all-time-encompassing anthology of great poetry. What more do you need? His instructions are perfect (not to mention the short example poems that he wrote himself), and anything written by children is bound to be worth reading. I loved it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne Marjot

    Not new (it was published in 1998) but new to me – by far the most wonderful book I have read on teaching poetry to children. It has a lot to say to any of us who fancy our hand at rhythm and rhyme, and it’s full of the most wonderful verse created by children who worked with the author. And what a gorgeous title!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    As a writer, the most inspiring bits about this book were the children's poems. I love that Koch promotes teaching children as though they are thoughtful capable human beings, since they are and aren't often treated as such. This isn't a great book, but it was an interesting read. The anthology is useful for writing prompt ideas.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    interesting introduction, though it rambled and said the same thing over and over again, helpful ideas for extracting some child-friendly activity from an adult writing. i don't like his translations from the french.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kitty

    Wonderful inspiration for writing and teaching poetry to young children with classic examples of poems from Shakespeare to Rimbaud, "Voyelles", Asian, African sources as well as inspiring creativity from the children's work.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Lovejoy

    This is such a wonderful book. It was written to help teachers teach children to write poetry. I am interested in it for that reason but I also felt this need to start writing myself. I am going to use the ideas in the book to get started on my own writing.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kyra

    I have to admit I mostly skimmed this for work. Wish I had time to reread it in more depth, though. A very significant book from my childhood, definitely led to a later fondness for "The Tyger," "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird," "This is Just to Say."

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    In this book, Kenneth Koch covers processes to get children thinking and writing about poetry -- included are poems from kids of all ages who were in his classes. Such a great book for every parent and teacher to own.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Abi Allanson

    Such exciting teaching ideas

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Great resource for teaching poetry, much better than anything put out in recent years that I've seen.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ellie

    I loved reading this book and I used many of his ideas in my own writing but I love using this book in my teaching even more.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Short and rich. Contains 10 prompts for student poetry along with student samples. Nice addition to a teacher's toolbox.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mills College Library

    808.1 K76r 1990

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lianne

    contains just about any of my favorite writers. I'm using the older version, I believe. But it comes in handy as a textbook/reference.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lisagoegan

    This is one of my go to books for teaching poetry to kids. I agree with Koch that students need to see real poetry and be excited by the power of the words.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    one of the books that changes my life...as a teacher...and a poet dreamer :) I met him once. It was amazing.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jay

    The best book about teaching poetry.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Robert

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stirling

  30. 4 out of 5

    J-Lynn Van Pelt

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