The Grammar of Poetry follows Poetry Primer, building on and expanding the concepts introduced there. The course is designed for students grade 5 or above, though if you're going to implement this text before grade 7 we strongly advise your students complete Poetry Primer first; otherwise they can start with this one. Also, don't let this be the end of poetry education—the information is fairly advanced, but still leaves plenty of uncovered material for high school.
Students who finished Poetry Primer will recognize some lessons. There are also several entirely new concepts and chapters (30 in all). Exercises are longer and more involved in the Grammar than they are in the Primer, and the examples come from more advanced poetry. A good-sized anthology of poems referred to in the text is included in the back of the book.
Author Matt Whitling assumes a love of poetry will yield its study better results than a reluctance to study it. He encourages students to not be predisposed against poetry. The poems selected were done so with this in mind, hoping to attract rather than bore potential readers.
The teacher's guide is highly recommended as it includes answers to all objective exercise questions including technical ones (line scansion, etc.). Students should be able to read and complete lessons themselves—there are no lesson plans per se—though any support you can offer is good. The text is self-contained, however, so if you don't know a lot about poetry yourself you don't have much to worry about.
This can be either a follow-up to Poetry Primer or an introduction by itself for somewhat older students. It should in either case lead to more thorough study in high school. If your kids are younger and really love poetry you could skip the Primer in favor of this one. A good humanities education is woefully incomplete without a study of poetry, and whenever you decide to start this is a good choice.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.
Did you find this review helpful?