Monday, March 18, 2013

TOS Review - Classical Academic Press - The Art of Poetry


PhotobucketPoetry is one of those words/subjects that strikes fear into many individuals, including myself. I didn't read or study poetry in school because of this fear. To be able to read, understand and enjoy poetry....the reader needs to slow down and read closely. Read the poem aloud more than once. Take into context who the poet was, what life was like in that time frame for him, and what was happening in the world. These are just a few concepts we have learned so far from The Art of Poetry published by Classical Academic Press. The author of The Art of Poetry is Christine Perrin. Ms. Perrin has taught poetry at John Hopkins University and currently teaches at Messiah College. Right off the bat after viewing the first DVD lesson I could tell this woman really knows her stuff and has an incredible passion for poetry.

What You Need to Know

The Art of Poetry Student Text  -  24.95
Teacher's Edition  -  29.95
DVD Set  -  69.95 (As of April 1st)
Bundle Set Which Includes All Above  -  99.95 (As of April 1st)

The student and teacher's edition will come as a physical book.
A sample chapter can be found here - Art of Poetry Sample Chapter.

Suggested Weekly Schedule

Recommended Ages - 6th grade and UP

What Is Included In The Text

Sound and More Sound
Shape: Stanza and Line
Tone: Putting it All Together
History of Form, Movements, Genres
Verse Forms
Shaping Forms
Emily Dickinson
Open Verse
Walt Whitman
Narrative Poems
Growing Your Interest
Short Biographies of Poets
The Art of Poetry Online
Glossary of Terms

How the Author Recommends Using This Book

The very first thing Ms. Perrin tells you is, "Do not let this book overwhelm you." If the only time you are ever able to spend with this product is reading the poetry then you have already taken the first step and accomplished more than a lot of High School students ever do. If an individual can't use this product daily then do it weekly. Ms. Perrin gives us many different ways to utilize The Art of Poetry - daily, weekly, monthly or over several years. If working with younger students shorten the lessons to include key points and skip the more in-depth material. Older students should do well with the curriculum as it is presented. The Art of Poetry is recommended to use as an elective class, cooperative, in home instruction or even in a poetry circle group.

How A Chapter Is Set Up

Each chapter/lesson is set up with an introduction to the subject matter being presented. For example, in Chapter 2 you will find an introduction to metaphors in poetry. Next is Learning to Read Closely which includes a noteworthy poem and explanation. Now the reader will progress to the Anthology Section that includes represented poets with poems depicting the element that is being studied. Each poem has questions and at the end of the chapter is a list of activities to chose from to enforce the presented element. To help the parent and student through each chapter a teacher's edition is available. The teacher's text has applications, extra information, and answers to all questions. To take it even a step further a DVD can be purchased with the exact lessons being taught by Ms. Perrin to a small group of students. 

How We Used the Product and What We Thought

A poem included in the text that we used for a nature study page.
Up front I would say that I was very intimidated about studying poetry. I have always thought that only "deep thinkers" could decipher poetry and enjoy it. We have studied poetry some from a child's point of view, mainly reading Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, etc. Poets recommended for young children, but nothing heavy duty. Once we received the product I the teacher sat down and read all the intro information, the first chapter and watched the first lesson on the DVD (Classical Academic Press graciously included lesson 1-2 DVD with the review materials). My plan of attack was to have Grace watch 30 minutes of Chapter 1 of the DVD one day then 30 minutes the next day to finish Chapter 1. I found out real quick that watching the lesson was not effective for Grace. She found it to be kind of dry and some of it she just plain didn't understand. So.....we took a step back and decided to take it at a much slower pace of me reading aloud the material from the teacher's text and have her try to answer the questions orally. Sometimes she could give some insight and other times we needed to refer to the answers in the teacher's text. I would personally never be able to teach this class without the teacher's text. Neither myself or Grace think in a poetic way, so this product has been a struggle for us. Saying all this, I believe the purchase of the teacher's text is a must unless the parent has a background in poetry. I do believe this is a wonderful product just maybe not for us. This may be because we as a family have not trained classically at all or that Grace is still not mature enough for the material. All the materials are well laid out for a parent to teach this class though. Basically with a mature, independent learner they could run with it, especially with the DVD lessons. It would be like having the teacher right in your home. The bundle price is great for what you get - student and teacher text, plus all the lessons on the DVD set. We do hope to continue using the product but on a much slower basis with maybe one poem every couple of weeks.

Please visit Classic Academic Press to see all their products as well as The Art of Poetry.

Take a hop over to the TOS Review Crew and see what other families thought of The Art of Poetry and Discovery of Deduction as well as all their other products.

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