More Than Rhyme: Poetry Fundamentals   Western Reserve Public Media
Why Teach Poetry? Resources Teacher Materials Watch Online Introduction to Poetry Tools Used in Poetry Applying the Tools

Project Coordinator
Maria Mastromatteo, Western Reserve Public Media


Teacher Guide
Teacher Design Team
Cathy Page Adler, Ravenna School District

Kathleen Behra

Maria Mastromatteo, Western Reserve Public Media

Teacher Guide Layout and Design
Paula Kritz, Western Reserve Public Media


Produced by Western Reserve Public Media (WNEO/WEAO, Youngstown/Akron, Ohio)

Executive Producer
Maria Mastromatteo, Western Reserve Public Media

Duilio Mariola, Western Reserve Public Media

Duilio Mariola, Western Reserve Public Media

Video Script
Larry Chance, Chance Productions

Professional Development Script
Cathy Adler, Ravenna School District


Layout and Design
Paula Kritz, Western Reserve Public Media


Aaron Laughlin


This series was funded by the Ohio Legislature through the Ohio Department of Education.


Why Teach Poetry?


Poetry is a small world where figurative language is most easily seen and observed. We must be aware of the power of figurative language, especially when used as persuasion, so that neither our minds nor our wallets are emptied. Understanding the meaning and also the effect of figurative language is an important skill, and poetry is a good vehicle for teaching it.

Students often receive psychological and intellectual rewards from poetry. They must be aware of grammar and syntax, which ultimately strengthens reading comprehension. “Students are often intrigued by the ideas as well as the forms of poetry. Topics such as identity, discovery, family relationships, survival, change, mortality, hopes and dreams are of primary interest to young people searching for self-awareness in an uncertain world.” — Why Teach Poetry?, Carol Clark http:///

Poetry is using carefully selected words to create a specific emotional response. This project helps students in grades 7-12 learn about the structure, usefulness and power of poetry. Topics covered include the following:

  • What is poetry and why is it important?

  • What are the tools used to create poetry?

  • Can you apply the tools by writing a poem of your own?


Common Core Standards in Reading Literature, Grades 7-12 are addressed at the top of each lesson. A complete listing of the standards addressed is available at


Six videos are available at Three are student-directed and teach the concepts described above, and three are teacher-directed and are used to explain the videos and the teacher guide. The topics covered include the following:

Video 1 and Video 4: Introduction to Poetry (student), and Professional Development (teacher)

Video 2 and Video 5: Poetry Tools: Double Denotation, Connotation, Sound, Repetition and Enjambed Lines (student), and Professional Development (teacher)

Video 3 and Video 6: Poetry Tools: Imagery, Simile and Metaphor, Hyperbole, Personification and Types of Poems (student), and Professional Development (teacher)


There is also a website at, which includes the following: Copyright© Northeastern Educational Television of Ohio, Inc. All rights reserved.