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Project Folio


The Singer Renews the Tale: The Development of Oral Poetry in the Classroom


Brad Dean
MJ Moran
Sherran Pickering
Diane Potts


Sir Matthew Begbie Elementary


English, Cantonese, German, Spanish, Tagalog


K, 6/7

Last Modified

January 23, 2007


The tradition of oral literacy dates back to earliest human attempts at creative expression. Today, the oral literacy modality has been somewhat devalued in our schools. For the most part, literacy is equated with "the written word;" the more proficient one is at reading and writing, the more "literate" he or she is. Human history reveals, however, that there is more to literacy than simply written text; to be truly literate one must understand the idea of language. Language is not easily defined; it has a written component, but it is also expressed through vocalizations, through words. Language can also be wordless; a musical phrase from the saxophone of John Coltrane can impart the same level of meaning and understanding to the listener as a passage of Shakespeare. Language cannot be "learned" solely through traditional academics; students must live and experience language, they must utilize language in performance.


The Singer Renews the Tale: The Development of Oral Poetry in the Classroom

 a mortal like a god. The flawless bardwas chanting still; the suitors sat in silentastonishment. He sang of the Achans:their sad return from Troy, the penaltyAthena made them pay. Penelope,within her rooms above, hung on his words;she grasped the wondrous sense of every verse.-The Odyssey, Book I1The tradition of oral literacy dates back...
Read more:   General Introduction  | Oral Formulaic...  | Kindergarten/Grad...  | Grade 6/7: Daily...  | Unit Highlights  | The Poetry Coffee...


Apple Poems I

With the help of their Grade 6/7 buddies, the Kindergarten/Grade 1 students began to experiment with poetry. They explored the theme of "the apple;" coming up with descriptive words that characterized the way they understood the concept...
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Apple Poems II

The Kindergarten/Grade 1 students used the following poems, which they composed with the help of the "Apples" template, as the basis for an oral poetic performance.
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Andrew's Poetry Book

Original compositions by Andrew Franco
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Matthew's Poetry Book

Original compositions by Matthew Jay
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Julia's Poetry Book

Original compositions by Julia Wong (This gallery utilizes a Slide Show display in order to facilitate the magnification of text)
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