Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Crew Review: Classical Academic Press – The Art of Poetry

on March 23, 2013


My oldest daughter loves poetry and has been writing poetry for a couple years and has even been published so I thought this would be a great way to actually teach her the intricacies of poetry.  The Art of Poetry from one of my favorite curricula providers, Classical Academic Press, seeks to teach students how to understand and enjoy this type of literature.  I’m not big on poetry so I was hoping that The Art of Poetry would help me in teaching my almost 6th grader about one of her favorite forms of reading material.

The Art of Poetry has multiple ways it can be used, allowing for a 32-week one year schedule, 16 week half year schedule, a poetry appreciation course to be done over the course of 4 years or a semester long course for a co-op or elective.  We chose to use the 32 week one year schedule which is laid out for a 5 day a week lesson, but we used it Monday through Thursday as Friday’s are our off day – which meant I had to do some rearranging from the typical suggested outline.  A week would sometimes look like this (this is just a sample of a basic day):

  • Monday: read the introduction and do a free writing exercising, discuss some themes that poetry can do, such as images or metaphors
  • Tuesday: read the selected poem in the text, discuss it with me and then write about the poem
  • Wednesday: Read more selected poems in the text, discuss them with me, and do two activities at the end of the chapter.
  • Thursday:  Discuss a couple more poems and then complete a couple more activities based on these poems.  If a portion of the DVD was to be shown on Friday we’d watch it today.

My oldest daughter and I tried to enjoy this curricula – but she and I both found it to be very slow moving at the one year schedule.  If I had to do it over again I would probably do the 16 week schedule which would provide more time each day as well as giving more work but at the one year schedule it was too slow moving for both my poetry loving daughter and I to fully appreciate what this curricula was.  If you’d like to view the suggested Art of Poetry schedule visit the AOP page and download the schedule for free – you can also download sample chapters from the student and teacher’s book.

It seemed that some of the activities were for a group to do together and while I really tried to help my daughter in the discussions on the poems – it was hard for both of us as we see things differently and got different ideas from the poems.  My daughter, who is not an auditory learner and prefers to do independent learning also asked if we could skip using the DVD’s after the first lesson – as it was to0 classroom-ish for her (and my) liking.   The curricula is geared for middle and high school students and I think, if we re-visited this again in a year or so, she may be more receptive to it.

The teacher’s guide is good to have on hand if you plan to do the teaching as it includes the entire student text as well as tips to teaching poetry, a historical time line of poetry, interpretation of each poem (to me, poems can mean different things to different people and there is no right or wrong way), quizzes and answer keys to the quizzes and activities.  The bundle package for the DVD, Teacher’s book and Student book sells for $99.95 and if you’d prefer to purchase the DVD’s at a later time those will sell for $69.95   or you can purchase each separately – although the best purchase would be to buy them in the bundle form.

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