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Poetry Please! The History and Craft of the Poetic Form



Class starts every Tuesday, starting at the beginning of the semester. You have until the final due date at the end of the semester to complete all work for the course. This means you have the entire semester to complete the course on YOUR schedule!

There is no teacher support for this course. All work is to be completed independently.

Read more details about self-paced class format.


What makes a good poem? What makes a bad poem? When is something considered poetry and not a story? What motivates someone to write a poem in the first place? We will look at many examples of creative writers who have used language to challenge and reshape the world around them, and who have turned to the written word for a new and creative perspective on human life.

This 6-lesson course will introduce students to major achievements in creative poetry, looking specifically at significant “movements,” or groups of writers that have helped shape modern language both in the United States and around the world. As a general survey of the Poetic form, this course will focus heavily on reading and writing, and will include examples of famous poetry from many different cultures throughout history.

By the end of this course, students will become familiar with several important movements in Literary history, which will provide them with a basic understanding of different poetic forms and how they reflect the cultures that created each one. Various creative assignments will then give students the opportunity to use these skills in developing their own creative writing style.

No live classesview lessons on YOUR schedule. In general, expect 1.5-2.5 hours to work through the lesson plan each week, and an additional 2-5 hours working on assignments (it really depends what assignment your child chooses to do and how they manage their time). For classes with two levels, the material is the same for boththe depth of the assignments differs. Younger students should usually be placed in Level 1. Older students, or younger students who want more of a challenge, should be placed in Level 2.

Each lesson consists of a fully narrated PowerPoint presentation with images and videos to enhance the topics. Students will have access to our learning management system, Canvas, for viewing their lesson, printing worksheets, taking quizzes, and viewing assignments and grades. Read more details about self-paced class format.

IMPORTANT!! Self-paced class enrollment is separate from our other courses. You can only enroll by clicking the button below.



Week 1: Ancient Poetry and Oral Tradition
This introduction will look at Ancient traditions of using poetry to retell heroic stories. This week, we will look at writers such as Homer, Virgil, and Sappho.

Week 2: Eastern Poetry
The second week will focus on ancient poetic traditions from Eastern cultures, including Japanese Haiku and Tanka forms. We will look at writers such as Tu Fu and Li Po, as well as Kobayashi Issa and Matsuo Basho.

Week 3: Transcendentalism
The third week will focus on early American poets from the 1800’s. We will look at writers such as Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau.

Week 4: Harlem Renaissance
The fourth week will focus on African American poets who challenged public opinion from the 1920’s and onward. We will look at writers such as Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, and Gwendolyn Brooks.

Week 5: The Beat Generation
The fifth week will focus on American writers in the 1950’s who were known for starting the “Beat Movement”. We will look at writers such as Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Jack Kerouac, and Bob Kaufman.

Week 6: Modern Feminism
The final week will focus on modern writers, with a special focus on feminist poets. We will look at writers such as Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, and Louise Gluck.

Next Level Homeschool is a firm believer that not all learning should happen from behind a screen! That's why we give students the freedom to submit their assignments in the way THEY want to! We don't want regurgitation learning here. By allowing students to use their own talents, skills, and passions to complete assignments, they become even more engaged and retain the information. Why? Because now it's literally in their hands! We receive thousands of projects every year from our students: written reports, videos, models, posters, Scratch, Minecraft, Roblox, songs, poems, skits, drawings, sculptures, craftswe've seen it ALL! And WE LOVE IT!!

Click here to view just a few projects we've received from students who have taken this class and see what YOUR kid could be learning with Next Level Homeschool!

Course Features

  • Schedule SUMMER: June 4 - Aug 20; FALL: Sep 3 - Dec 24
  • Activities Language Arts
  • Lessons 6
  • Suggested Ages 11-17 One Level