The Grammar of Poetry {Review}

Who: Roman Roads Media

What: The Grammar of Poetry

When: Grades 6 - 9

Why: Let me tell you!

Grammar of Poetry teaches the fundamentals of poetry like: how to read poetry, simile, rhyme, metaphor, meter, personification, onomatopoeia, alliteration, oxymoron, refrain, spacial imitation, and more.

grammar of poetry

Components of the program:

  • Student Textbook/Workbook ~ $22 (one per student)

  • Teacher's Edition ~ $24

  • Set of 4 DVDs ~ $85

Grammar of Poetry Bundle ~ DVDs, 1 Student Text, and Teacher's Edition for $100. (Plus a flat shipping rate of $7 for the bundle).

I purchased an additional student workbook so that I could use this with both Dylan (9th grade) and Nathan (10th grade) this coming school year. I paid $22 plus a flat shipping rate of $3.

How does The Grammar of Poetry work?

The study begins with a defense of the classical tool of imitation. In this course, my students will be emulating "poems of truth, beauty, and goodness" very similar to way Benjamin Franklin was self-taught.

Lesson 1 is an introduction to poetry. We learn that poetry is a language of pictures and music. We also learn that poetry can be manly, and my boys who originally cringed at the thought of learning about poetry, were instantly won over by the idea by teacher Matt Whittling, who says that poetry is not just for girls.

My boys also learned what a trope is and the two parts of the music of poetry: meter and rhyme. And in order to write a good poem, they needed to have a meaningful topic to write about, so they filled out an epiphany chart to reveal high points, low points, turning points, and special people, places, and possessions in their life.

Lesson 2 is on How to Read Poetry. They learned about thankfulness in poetry, how to read, memorize and recite poetry, how to use the information in the title to help understand and comprehend the poem, and how to identify the setting of the poem. Then they learned the poetic categories and practiced what they learned by reading several poems and identifying the poetic category.

Lessons 1 and 2 were on one video on Disc One and were an introduction to poetry. Each module thereafter consists of one module, or three lessons.

Module 1 begins the heart of the study with lessons on Simile (trope), Rhyme, and Using a Rhyming Dictionary.

There are 30 lessons in the text, and the Teacher's Guide suggests a schedule of three lessons per week (one module), with each lesson lasting about 30 minutes. Because my boys were heading off to camp and would be gone for 2 weeks during this review, we doubled up to get a few more lessons in before they left. But, I think three lessons a week is a very doable, relaxed, and enjoyable pace! Completing the study at this pace, we would finish it in only 10 weeks, so even if we did 2 lessons a week, we would still complete the study in 15 weeks - less than a semester.

To prepare myself for each lesson, I read through the information at the top of each lesson, but didn't find it necessary to read the information to my boys. They were able to read the text, watch the video lesson, and do the practice activities independently and had a thorough understanding of the concepts without my help.

The lesson format from lesson 3 on out includes:

  • New teaching

  • Practice

  • Activities

  • Review

  • Riddle Rendezvous

In this way, my students are learning, applying what they have learned, reviewing previous concepts, and having a little fun answering a riddle.

Can you guess Riddle No. 2 from Lesson 3?
The beginning of eternity

The end of time and space

The beginning of every end

And the end of every place.

The answers are in the Teacher's Edition, along with all the solutions/answers to the student activities.

We ran into a little trouble in Lesson 5 because we could not find a good rhyming dictionary at our library. So, we will have to come back to that lesson when I find one.

At the end of the course, there is a cumulative final exam. Students are encouraged to keep a poetry folder to help them study for the exam.

My Thoughts 

We read poetry every year with our current curriculum, but we have never studied it or written our own, and I'm excited to round out my boys' high school education with a quality study on poetry.

Geared towards grades 6th-9th, it can be used by anyone with basic writing skills and the desire to learn poetry. It is an easy course to use as the videos do all of the instructional teaching, and the work-text offers a summary of the video, activities, practice, and continual review of concepts.

In order to make this worthy as a half credit course for high school, I will use some of the suggestions offered in the Teacher's Edition (Appendix D Notes to Homeschoolers) and have my boys continue their poetry studies by finding a poem and a poet per month and do a basic background on the poet, memorize the poem for a recitation, and do an imitation.

I can use Appendix A, a Poetry Anthology, to help them choose poems that tell a story, poems that describe something, poems about love, or poems about history. The history collection of poems is divided up into time periods so that they can tie poetry into their study of History.

I will also have them spend the remaining hours writing their own poetry.

Thankfully, also included in Appendix C is information how to grade poetry. I will be referring back to this as I analyze their work.

I've never seen a course such as this offered, and I am very excited to have it in our curriculum line up this school year!

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  1. This looks fantastic. Your review is excellent!

  2. sounds like an interesting program. would it work you think for a lad who hates to write? :)

  3. I think there is a happy balance of fill in the blank, short answer, and writing. They will be asked write down examples, such as hyperbole for example, and also write their own poems. As far as pencil pushing, I don't think it's too much. If your lad doesn't like creative writing, that could be harder - my boys didn't and their poems fit the requirement, such as following the correct meter for example, but they made them silly, and I was fine with that. Thanks for stopping by, Annette. :)