"Wishes, Lies, and Dreams" (02:37)
Children from PS 61 read poetry they wrote. Kenneth Koch wrote "The Pleasures of Peace" and "Thank You."
Class Collaboration (06:03)
Koch initially taught adults to write poems. By making poetry fun, children will be as enthusiastic about poetry as drawing or painting. PS 61 students write the collective poem "Mind Explosion."
Wish Poem Assignments (03:32)
Koch created new exercises for younger students. They receive a structure for the poem, told not to rhyme, and urged to make wishes as crazy as possible. Koch finds that reading poems from one class to another inspires pupils.
Comparison & Sound Assignments (03:02)
Reading "crazy and free" poems inspires students to create their own poetry. Koch demonstrates how comparisons that seem strange are more authentic. Koch assigns a poem that associates sound with words and colors.
Dream, Strange Objects, and Past/Present Assignments (02:25)
Koch asks the children to write about their dreams. After a child misspells a word, the poetry teacher creates an assignment about strange objects. Listen to children recite their poetry exercises.
Nature and Lie Poems (03:32)
Koch suggests helping children avoid clichés by asking them to write poetry from different points of view. Other assignments include: color poems, music poems, and incorporating Spanish words.
Secret Poems (05:52)
The students of PS 61 watch a television screen as the camera distorts their features. Koch instructs the children to write a poem about the secret self they witnessed; students recite their poetry.
Credits: Poet Kenneth Koch on Teaching Poetry to Children (00:48)
Credits: Poet Kenneth Koch on Teaching Poetry to Children
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