Welcome to Poetry Alive.

Poetry Alive!® Institute Objectives

Objective 1: To experience a myriad of teaching strategies for immediate use in the classroom

Throughout the Institute, facilitators will model practical, workable, and teacher friendly activities that will transport back to the participant’s own classroom or assignment.

For this objective participants will experience the following:

  • Models of all the objectives and concepts
  • Experiential learning
  • Ways to engage students in wanting to learn
  • Ways to engage struggling readers
  • Ways to connect to emergent readers
  • Ways to connect to sophisticated readers
  • Ways to have students connect authentically with the text
  • Ways to create community, build trust, and establish respect

Objective 2: To help participants maximize their potential as teachers

The Poetry Alive! Institute participants are made up mostly of educators, and every aspect of the residency activities is applicable to the classroom.  Our goal is to present a hands-on methodology for teaching the reading-writing-performance connection.  We will explore the pedagogy of poem performance, but we will also demonstrate the theory in practice.

During the Institute participants will complete the following

  • Performance strategies and skills:
  • Introduction to Poem Presentation
  • Transforming poems into scripts
  • Introduction to stage presentation skills
  • Poetry as multi-modal learning
  • Collaborative learning

Objective 3: To help participants grow personally by providing authentic performance opportunities

While most participants are not theatrical professionals, we offer an opportunity for educators to develop an actor’s ability and director’s eye.  The Institute’s activities culminate in a collaborative performance.  This real-world experience helps to improve the participants’ self-confidence and knowledge.  Participants also become more empathetic teachers.

For this objective participants will experience the following:

  • Teacher as performer/performer as teacher
  • The secret of memorization
  • Crystallization of poem choices for the show order
  • Reader/response strategies
  • Connecting to the text
  • Transforming the poem into a script
  • Identifying the poem’s character, action, setting and feeling
  • Learn to score the poem

Objective 4: To help participants grow as writers of poetry and to make them more effective facilitators of their students” writing

The Institute’s activities are partially devoted to writing exercises which help participants begin to discover their individual voices.  Participants take part in exercises which provide models for their own classrooms, thus allowing them to pass personal experience on to their students.

For this objective the participants will:

  • Engage in the reading-writing-performance strategy
  • Creating a safe haven for learning
  • Building a community of learners
  • Conducting discussions
  • Celebrating Writing
  • Utilizing segue

Objective 5: To demonstrate methods which will allow teachers to help their students better respond to literature

Participants will receive hands-on experience with activities designed to help students to generate meaningful verbal and written discussion about the literature they read.

Participants will complete the following:

  • Pre-reading strategies
  • Anticipatory Set
  • Connecting to the text: Roseblatt
  • Using scaffold and graphic organizers for writing
  • Using writing to learn strategies
  • Connecting the reading, writing and performance
  • Transforming poems into scripts
  • Create writing using salvaging and scaffolding

Objective 6: To help participant experience poetry “from the inside out”

The Poetry alive! Method sees poetry as a life experience rather than merely an object of study.  By memorizing poetry and presenting it theatrically, participants internalize and understand the words’ language, mood, and meaning with an intimacy that can be difficult to achieve through traditional methods of explication and analysis.

For this objective participants will:

  • Bring real world connections to literature
  • Experience the “secret of memorization”
  • Complete a poem search for memorization
  • Revisit character, action, setting and feeling

Objective 7: To provide a forum in which Participants are allowed to present the culmination of their work

In order that the participants experience does not take place in a vacuum, the Institute’s activities culminate in a performance.

For this objective teachers will experience the following:

  • Collaborative learning at its best
  • Training their butterflies to fly in formation
  • Experience multi-modal learning
  • Community Building
  • Interaction with committed educators
  • Become empathetic to what students experience during the poem performance experience

Objective 8: To expose participants to working writers, performers, and educators

When possible, Poetry Alive! involves writers, performers and teachers during the week-long residence. 

For this objective participants will experience the following:

  • Meet with writers, performers and teachers who use and/or have written about the reading-writing-performance connection to discuss in more detail the connections made
The ' 99 USA Teacher of the Year says:

"The Poetry Alive! Summer Residency is one of those rare, once in a lifetime experiences that impacts on a person professionally and personally in a meaningful and lasting way!!

"The information I learned and the skills I gained have become an important part of my teaching repertoire! The relationships I developed and the adventure I undertook added a new element of joy to my life! I look forward with a great deal of gratitude and excitement to sharing what I have learned with teachers throughout the country!

"Thank you Allan, Cheryl, and everyone at Poetry Alive!"
--Andy Baumgartner, 1999 United States Teacher of the Year