Thursday, April 24, 2008


The purpose of this blog is to share interesting ideas I have found in American professional publications dealing with the teaching of English at all levels, elementary, secondary and college.

Topic: Metacognition or Modeling the Reading Processes

Title: “Does Feeling Come First? How Poetry Can Help Readers Broaden Their Understanding of Metacognition.” Amy L. Eva-Wood. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy (April 2008), 564-576.

Summary: Adding to the technique of using “Think-alouds” while showing students how to read (metacognition), the author suggests that teachers use poetry to demonstrate to students not only how to read and respond intellectually, but also how to respond emotionally to the ideas, images and figurative language of poetry.

[Comments: The “think-aloud” is a technique used by teachers who read aloud while explaining how they understand and interpret what they read. I have to admit that I have never tried the technique, but the method has always intrigued me and including emotional response through poetry is an interesting addition. I think if I were teaching again, I might try the read-aloud and model my thinking involving short poems with difficult ideas that are hard to comprehend and to interpret. For example, try it with a poem by Emily Dickinson. Talk students through how you read, interpret and respond emotionally to a single poem. You will be showing students how you approach a difficult poem and they can try it themselves. RayS.]

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