National Institute for Urban School Improvement
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  • "Water as Rough as an Elephant's Foot..." Learning Geography through Poetry Writing at KS2
    Describes how bilingual fourth and fifth graders at one London elementary school learned geography by writing poetry. This effort involved: engaging with the topic, consolidating knowledge and understanding, and extending knowledge and understanding.
  • Gathered Around the Fire of the Heart
    Examines the sacredness of language from the early history of language, and how poetry from all times and cultures connects and heals. Describes the author's work in a poets-in-the-schools program and how the children's poems healed the heart of a Chumash Indian elder.
  • Harold Bloom's Charge that Multiculturalism in American Poetry Is a Mask for Mediocrity
    Yale professor Harold Bloom has concluded that cultural guilt has resulted in a 30-year intellectual decline in which politics has come to dominate U.S. poetry.
  • I, Too, Am an American: Preservice Teachers Reflect upon National Identity
    Preservice teachers read poetry by Langston Hughes and an Arab American student about being American, then composed and discussed their own poems. Poems helped them reflect on their own cultures and attitudes, thus developing a caring community of learners who valued diversity and human rights.
  • Influences of Multicultural Poetry Genre Study on Sixth-Grade Students' Language Appropriation
    A study investigaged: (1) in what ways sixth-grade students appropriated language and/or themes from multicultural poetry into their own poetry writing and (2) when students appropriated language and/or themes, what factors influenced their choices. Subjects were 5 students within a class of 22, chosen for case studies because of their unique involvement in the classroom community, resistance to distraction, fluency in writing, and diverse cultural/ethnic backgrounds.
  • Influences of Shared Poetry Texts: The Chorus in Voice
    Discusses the development of voice through a specific free-form poetry-writing experience. Suggests a method for teaching poetry that draws heavily on poets from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
  • Making Connections
    Discusses ways to overcome seventh and eight graders' negative feelings of diversity in the context of a study of the Holocaust. Describes the use of poetry, music and lyrics, and memoirs and novels that reflect a wide range of viewpoints to help students feel more connected to their own world.
  • Pro-Claiming a Space: The Poetry of Sandra Cisneros and Judith Ortiz Cofer
    Examines three principles of the poetry of two Latinas, Sandra Cisneros and Judith Ortiz Cofer: the expression of dual language heritage, the highlighting of women's issues as a means of self-affirmation, and the importance of creating time and space for writing.
  • Using One of the "Standards for the English Language Arts" To Foster a Positive Relationship between Culture and Literacy
    Argues that integrating the arts in culture and literacy can help children become proficient users of language and be accepting and empathetic toward others, as advocated in standard nine of the "Standards for the English Language Arts." Describes two ways the author integrated the arts into a language arts unit on Japan, dealing with storytelling/mask making and poetry/illustration. (SR).