Product InformationLinguistic Development through Poetry Memorization is a poetry curriculum from Institute of Excellence in Writing (IEW). It was designed to introduce students to the beauty of literature, and through recitation and memorization infuse correct and sophisticated English Language patterns into the child's brain. The beauty of the program is that it is done simply by teaching your child to recite poetry, and not just say it, but say it with flair!Designed to promote mastery through repetition, even the youngest student is capable of achieving great works of memorization with this program.
The following items are contained in this set (retail $65.00):
*spiral bound Teacher Manual containing all 96 poems and speeches
*CD case with cd's of readings for every selection for easy memorization
*Student Book eBOOK download
*bonus DVD of Andrew Pudewa's conference talk Nurturing Competent Communicators
*audio mp3 recordings with additional information regarding the benefits of memorization and recitation:
--Mastery Learning, Ability Development, and Individualized Education
--Ten Thousand Times and Then Begins Understanding
The program is divided into different levels with the difficulty of each selection increasing as the levels are completed. The pieces for memorization included offer a wide range of selections from the whimsical poem to a famous speech. There are certificates and poet biographies included in the set for you to use as needed.
There is also a spiral bound student book available for purchase separately.
We were given the poetry memorization course to review with both boys (age 5 and 10).
How Did We Use the Product?
The teacher manual is very straight forward with an excellent introduction about the importance and argument FOR recitation and memorization in schools. It was well worth reading before getting started. The introduction also includes a chart for keeping track of all the poems that are learned each day. I printed off two copies of this chart (one on green, one on blue) and then laminated them so that we could keep track of our work. I really didn't need to laminate them, but this way they won't get destroyed from constantly pull the papers out to record our work each day.
I flipped through the poems in level 1 and discovered that we were already familiar with the first three, as they are part of Baby Britches' language arts program which is also produced by IEW. Because of the familiarity, we quickly jumped through the first three poems and had them memorized without mistakes in a week or less. The Vulture by Hilaire Belloc was our first new poem and because it was funny, the boys even worked on it on their own, outside of our school day. I heard them trying to recite it several times over the next days--especially when working on cleaning their room. LOL. It took Little Britches about 3 days to have it totally memorized--we did it one stanza at a time. Baby Britches took about 6 days.
The rest of our review time has been spent working on memorizing the 5th poem in the book, After the Party by William Wise, which is a four stanza-24 line poem. We learned a new stanza about every 3 days--but with adding in the previous stanzas, this means we ended up learning a new stanza about once a week. When we introduce the poem for the first time, we play the CD with Andrew Pudewa saying the poem and the boys color the illustration from the student book, while they listen the first time. Then they continue to color while they listen to it two more times before we try it on our own. By the end of the first day, we have learned the basic first stanza at the very least.
What Are Our Thoughts on the Product?We love the program!
The boys already had a love for poetry, and when we saw that the first poem was one that we had learned in another IEW program, they had no trouble jumping right in. In fact, they discovered that the first three poems were ones they already knew! They enjoyed listening to Andrew Pudewa say the poems on the CD and then quickly picked up on the structure for reciting them.
I never had to remind them--they told me daily if it was time to practice their poems. They helped each other by giving cues if needed. They laughed when they tried to say them super fast and enjoyed coloring the illustrations on the printout. Their favorite thing was making the videos so they could see themselves say the poems.
I really enjoyed this program too. I couldn't help but learn the poems right along with the boys. It was so easy to add it in--just 10 minutes or less a day--and it was such an informal method, for we simply kept reciting the poetry no matter where we were or what day it was. We would also take cues from different things. If someone wanted a snack, one of the boys would break out into a rendition of The Vulture. If mentioned a worm, Ooey Gooey was repeated with glee.
I don't really have any cons for the program. It is definitely open and go, and the teachers manual isn't much more than just a record of all the poetry that is completed. The student book isn't necessary, but I do like having it as the font is larger and the illustration is cute. It gives them something to follow along with. I liked the diverseness in the poetryselections and that they were varied in length--not a whole string of long poems one after another to learn. I also appreciated that the poems (that we have done so far at least) are rhyming. That makes memorization so much easier. I know it will change as we move on, but for now it makes learning the poems much faster.
I will add that although I haven't listened to the mp3's yet, everything from Andrew Pudewa and the IEW team is excellent and very thought provoking. I have heard the Nurturing Competent Communicators before and it is sooooo good! I highly recommend it to anyone. It really makes you re-evaluate what you should want from a Language Arts program in regards to your child's future as a "competent communicator".
Will we continue to use this product?
Oh yes. The boys are eager for a new poem as soon as they successfully recite their latest one. I plan on continuing to do this program even throughout the summer simply because it is so easy and they enjoy it so much.