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Dramatizing Classical Poetry for Middle and High School Students

By Louise Thistle
Pioneer Drama Service Inc.

PO Box 4267
Englewood, Colorado 80155

Dramatizing Classical Poetry for Middle and High School Students by Louise Thistle is a book written for teachers who want to instruct their students on how to dramatize and perform poetry for an audience. Although written for classroom use, it would work great for a co-op, or you can adapt it and use it within your home.

The book is divided into three sections. The first section teaches the four speaking principles and how to incorporate props while dramatizing nursery rhymes. The second section introduces limericks, ballads, lyrics, nonsense verse, and historical narrative poetry by well-known poets such as Frost, Dickens, Cummings, Shakespeare, and Tennyson. The teacher is given suggestions on how to perform each poem. A few poems will have three to six critical thinking and writing questions with an art project.

The third section of the book has a 25-minute performance script for 35 students to perform in front of an audience.

Even though Dramatizing Classical Poetry was not written specifically for the homeschool family, I think it is a great way to get children of all ages to have fun learning poetry. I would not limit it to just middle and high school students. You can use the techniques for elementary students also. If you decide to use it in the home instead of a co-op, the children can perform for a great night of entertainment and fellowship.

Product review by Joy Niceley, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, January 2007

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