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Sandy Lyne


Teacher & Student Workshops


• All teacher workshops are offered in 3-hour or 6-hour formats.
• All of the workshops are also offered for students as four-day poetry residencies in their schools. Many sponsors opt for combining the teacher workshop with a four-day student residency.


• For Teachers of Grades 1-12
• 3 or 6 hours of instruction time
• Maximum number of participants: 70

Poets know that the real satisfaction in writing poems is found in the unanticipated discoveries—in the beauty and mystery of unexpected images and phrases, in the lightning flash of truth. Using “fishing” as a metaphor, teachers learn how to help students discover that their best poems come from silence, patience, concentration, and the welcome surprise; that poems come in all shapes and sizes, some “keepers” and some not; that some days you catch a “boot,” and some days “the fish (poems) just aren’t biting.” The fun is in the fishing itself, and in sharing our “catch” with others. This workshop helps teachers reach students of all learning levels and abilities, including ESL students (providing a self-affirming approach for bridging the transition from their birth-language to English). Designed with numerous elaborations, this specialized word-group approach easily becomes a yearlong means for writing poems across the curriculum

Curriculum and Standards Connections

When applied uniformly over the course of the school year, the poem-sketching techniques and their variations taught in this workshop provide students with opportunities for:

• appreciation for the creative process itself (inspiration/conception, gestation, and completion) and for the attributes of the creative person (quietness, openness, patience, focus/attentiveness, experimentation, tolerance for mistakes);
• creative problem-solving in written expression, abstract thinking, organizing of ideas;
• practice in descriptive writing, use of personal experience, and figurative language;
• practice in the development of simple ideas into more complex ideas;
• practice in revision skills development;
• practice in finding the form of a free verse poem;
• vocabulary enrichment;
• demonstrating knowledge and use of standard English grammar, structure, punctuation, etc.;
• use of the poem as a tool for interdisciplinary studies/writing across the curriculum;
• development of "alternative thinking" skills;
• use of the poem as a tool for interdisciplinary studies/writing across the curriculum;
• development of speaking and listening communication skills;
• increased interest in and appreciation for poems in literature;
• increased self-awareness and self-esteem.

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