Diving Deep Into Poetry

An in-depth study of poetry including the history, structure, writing, reading, reciting, memorization and appreciation of poetry.

Tutor: Cheryl O’Donnell


269-744-6489 23030

Blackbird Avenue, Mattawan, Michigan 49071

Focus Group:

This class is intended for 3rd to 6th grade level students who desire to acquire knowledge about the history of poetry and tap into their potential as writers and readers of poetry.

Course Description:

This course will take students through the history of poetry, to the publication of their own poetry, while being exposed to the many different types of poetry. They will read, question, analyze and discuss, enter journal responses, write and recite their own and other’s poems. They will think critically and thoughtfully about words, develop language and poetic structure and literary devices. They will also ponder “what makes a poem a poem.”

Course Benefits:

  • Students will be exposed to large variety of poems
  • Analyze and interpret poems
  • Learn deeper appreciation for all God’s beauty through poetry
  • Write their own poems
  • Understand and use figurative language
  • Know and analyze poetic structures and terms
  • Increase fluency though repeated readings
  • Acquire precise vocabulary
  • Understand and appreciate word choice
  • What is a poem?
  • How do you read a poem?
  • Academic vocabulary: Poem, rhythm, stanza, rhyme, simile, metaphor, onomatopoeia, figurative language, Haiku, narrative, limerick
  • Essential Questions
  • Draft, revise, and publish own poems
  • Ask questions to clarify meaning
  • Interpret poems orally and in writing
  • Memorize poetry which changes their brain to develop a strong memory
  • Recite poems aloud
  • Work cooperatively to annotate poems
  • Use evaluative skills to critique poems
  • Experiment with various poetic structures
  • Acquire an appreciation of poetry and poets

Tutor Background/Information:

Over the years I have heard from parents and teachers about their struggles to engage their students in writing. I have also witnessed the struggle of students to find a way to express themselves through writing and the challenge many have in learning to read fluently. Poetry is a way to inspire students and build their confidence as they become life long readers and writers. Poetry naturally lends itself to a fun way to learn about word choice, to share their opinions, to be heard and appreciated, to make a difference in the world while exercising reading of the written word using rhythm and rhyme.

I invite you to pray about how a poetry class may be a powerful tool and art for your child to enhance their language skills, reading fluency, express their emotions, build community, enjoy conversations, and learn about each other as they read and write poetry. It can open doors to a fun way to explore reading and writing .

Cheryl has tutored math and writing classes at KAT for three years and taught in the public school system and continues to be involved in the current curriculum standards through private tutoring and maintaining close relationships with families and professionals in the public/ private school systems as well as parents and teachers in the homeschooling community. Cheryl has also completed additional courses in higher education with a specific focus on developing writing skills to provide the most effective methods of teaching young writers.

Course Costs:

$360 per student for the entire year. Half ($180) is due at the week before classes begins in September. The other half is due at the beginning of the second semester in January. (Cost weekly for this one hour and 25 minute class is approximately $10.60).

Family discount:

A family discount will apply after the full payment of two siblings. Other siblings that would like to participate in the class will pay $90 per semester with the same nonrefundable fees and refund policy as above.

Course Length:

This class is a one-year program, each semester has 17 weeks of classes. Each class is one hour and 25 minutes.

Required Course Materials:

Students will need paper and writing utensils. Home computers are appropriate, but not required, for out of class work.

Course Registration:

Students must be registered prior to the start of class in the fall.

Absence, Cancellation and Drop Policy:

If a student misses class, it is his/her responsibility to contact Cheryl for make-up work and any class material. A very effective and easy way to stay caught up before a planned absence or after an unplanned absence is to email Cheryl (codonnell1976@gmail.com) so that the student can get notes, handouts, and assignments. If Cheryl is ill or school is canceled due to weather, material will be made up within the next few classes.

Tutor Biography:

Cheryl retired from Mattawan Consolidated Schools in 2013. She began teaching 3rd grade in 2003 after completing her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Elementary Education and minors in math, science and language arts from Western Michigan University. She later completed her Masters degree in the Art of Teaching from Marygrove College in 2005. She has served on various committees including Social Studies and Language Arts with a specific focus on writing skills. Cheryl piloted the “Teach the Traits of Effective Writing” program with a total of 52 students. Cheryl has worked with a variety of students with learning and behavioral disabilities including ADD, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, emotional and social impairment, and special needs. She provided instruction for gifted students as well making certain all students were challenged to their ability and were given opportunities to improve and reach their unique potential. Cheryl is a Christian woman, wife, mother of four, and grandmother of 10. She attends Mattawan Community Church.and is currently participating on the prayer team. Even in the public school, Cheryl was passionate about sharing the love of Jesus and creating awareness for students that extended beyond themselves. Cheryl believes that her passion for teaching is a gift that is intended to be used for helping students not only excel but to bring out the best in each individual.

Please do not hesitate to contact Cheryl with questions or concerns at anytime. Thank you!