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: English : Poetry in a Nutshell (Education Edition)

Poetry in a Nutshell
Education Edition

"Poetry in a Nutshell" is an interactive CD ROM designed to help Junior High school students learn the elements of Poetry. This multimedia package uses still photos, graphics, sound, animation, and music to enhance the delivery of key Language Arts curriculum concepts. The program is pedagogically sound as an expert in Language Arts curriculum development was utilized as the content consultant. The program is designed for Junior High and is useful both in school and at home. Copies have also been purchased at the High School, College and University levels.

The program uses a multimedia approach in the presentation of themes and poetic elements and is developed in the Language Arts curriculum area. The program comes complete with a Teacher's Manual and 35 reproducible Blackline masters.

Features & Benefits:

"Poetry in a Nutshell" is an interactive, educational, multimedia exploration of the elements of poetry. It is a 3-part CD-ROM set including well-known poems by Canadian, British and American authors. It is useful to both teachers for full class instruction and to students for individual use. Each poem can be heard as well as read. The index system enables the user to navigate from an index screen to any topic in the program and vice versa. The program is curriculum specific and has been designed to teach the standard elements of poetry to Junior High School students worldwide in the English Language.

The program is divided into three sections:

  • The Spirit of Poetry
  • The Sound of Poetry
  • The Figures of Poetry

The Spirit of Poetry includes examples of narrative poems, sonnets, haiku poems, concrete poetry, the dramatic monologue as well as examples of other types of poetry. All poems can be heard as well as read, on the principle that poetry is meant to be listened to. Every user will have the opportunity to write their own cinquain or five line poem on-screen. This section also introduces a variety of poets and their poetry.

The Sound of Poetry identifies how language, rhyme and rhythm operate together to produce the musical effect of poetry. This section contains examples of sound devices used by poets including euphony, cacophony, dialect, onomatopoeia, and alliteration. This section also covers rhyme: end rhyme, internal rhyme, the Italian sonnet and the Elizabethan sonnet. Also covered in this section is the rhythm of poetry including syllabication, rhythm, and patterns such as iambic, trochaic and anapestic. The use of metre and foot are also covered.

The Figures of Poetry demonstrates the magical consequences of using everyday language in a special way. Items covered in this section include denotation, the simile, the metaphor and figures of speech. Figures of speech covered include personification, allusion, hyperbole, apostrophe and metonymy.

The user is led through these poetic concepts by narrator Geoff Seymour, who from time to time gives navigation tips, as well as explanations of poetic techniques. The poems are read by a variety of voices including some high school students. The CD-ROM opening screen contains original harp music performed by author and musician Ed Kavanagh. The program uses many backdrops to create the mood of poetry including original photographs by Mollie Sorlie and line drawings by Bill Maddock.

The program is curriculum specific as opposed to edutainment or reference. The elements of poetry are a focus because they are difficult to teach and because they are standard to Language Arts curriculum everywhere. The Interface Design of the program was designed with the teacher and student in mind. The interface and navigation are clean and easy to use, enabling the user to focus primarily on the message. The navigation system reduces confusion and enables the user to maximize instructional usage. The program was designed by educator John Maddock, with the classroom instructional environment in mind and comes complete with teaching notes and student activities.

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