Do you want to learn how to give your words flow, rhythm and rhyme? Kwame Alexander’s Free Write a poetry notebook to help you learn to write poems of your own. A good introductory look into poetic styles, and the skills needed to write good poetry.
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Published by sourcebooks, I am reviewing Kwame Alexander’s Free Write on behalf of Raincoast Books. Running at 128 pages and written in a conversational style for middle school students. Using Jumpstart points and varied font sizes to create a user-friendly product.
How is this book set up?
Kwame Alexander takes a conversational approach to teaching 8-12 year olds the fine art of poetry.
He starts each free write session with poetry and a jumpstart. This jumpstart is either a teaching moment, or a chance to do some fill in the blank poetry.
I found that sometimes the teaching is a bit light and that makes doing the poetry practice more difficult. Adding more examples or explanations would help.
But you get loads of practice time, without the feeling of pressure. I loved that. This poetry notebook feels low-key, and yet purposeful. He lightly touches on a number of different areas for writing poetry.
Poetry areas that Kwame Alexander touches are on
- definition poetry
- repetitive patterns
- blackjack poems
- crowd sourced poetry
- list poem
- using your senses
- spine poem
- noir poetry
Isn’t that a rather impressive list to cover in a 128 page book? I know I learned a lot.. I’d never heard of noir, spine, blackjack or clerihew poetry before. Some of them I want to try out myself! 🙂
Should you get Kwame Alexander’s Free Write?
With lots of room to create your own poetry and lots of encouragement to write, Kwame Alexander’s Free Write is well worth a look. Despite the introductory nature of some of the poetic styles, a ton of friendly encouragement flood the pages.
From a homeschooling perspective, it would be EASY to turn this into a poetry study within a language arts program and potentially more fun than most poetry units I’ve seen. 🙂