I never mention the word poetry when I start this unit. We start with prescription poetry. Everyone must write their name, two adjectives, two adverbs and then their name again. Everyone is a poet as they have written a poem that is uniquely theirs. Next, we write about family members, we find poetry in the library that high school students can relate to, we study poetic musical lyrics and then we move into the classics of Frost, Whitman, Emerson and others.
After the students have gained a real understanding of poetry, we set up the library with refreshments, candles, and a microphone to have our own poetry reading. All of my students get the chance to read some of their poetry, and I invite some music students to join in the fun. Our poetry reading really excites my students. Poetry becomes palatable and enjoyable.