Rose, Where Did You Get That Red?: Teaching Great Poetry to Children
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Rose, Where Did You Get That Red?: Teaching Great Poetry to Children

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  207 ratings  ·  21 reviews
First published to enormous acclaim in 1973, this book became a classic that revolutionized the way children are taught to read and write poetry. The celebrated poet Kenneth Koch conveys the imaginative splendor of great poetry--by Blake, Donne, Stevens, Lorca, and others--and then shows how it maybe taught so as to help children write poetry of their own. For this edition...more
ebook, 416 pages
Published January 11th 2012 by Vintage (first published 1974)
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I was disappointed in this one and it was not at all what I thought. I was looking for a book to help inspire kids to read and write poetry.

First of all, there are two (2!) very long introductions by the author that take up 1/4 of the entire book. Secondly, the type set used is too small, the paragraphs are too long, and the book could use a good edit.

Third, the author includes 10 poems in this book. Followed by each poem are poems written by his students. WTH? While I am sure the students (and...more
The fact Koch got a little 1960s LES writer to get down "rose, where did you get that red?" on paper is a testament to his work. This book is essential for reading, writing, and talking about poetry with kids. Most notable is the idea of teaching someone rather antiquated, say Blake/Shakespeare, to six year olds. Detailed lesson plans, example and sample poems, invaluable.
Eric Zimmerman
Basically, you simplify the forms of great poems and then have students write their own, and they feel smart and special. It actually works that easily in praxis.
Noor Al-samarrai
I think the poems he used were too childish and arcane. But that's just my opinion. I'd prefer to teach kids poems that are more exciting than Blake's Tyger.
Cheryl in CC NV
So, would a teacher accomplish the title goal of this book if guided by Koch's strategy? Hm. I guess it depends on exactly how the goal is defined. If it means helping children and teens see that grown-up poetry (as opposed to the kind of pap from Prelutsky that is most often shared in schools) is accessible and interesting, and if the teacher is passionate about the subject himself, sure. It is not a guide that can be used to work miracles, though. And in fact many time Koch himself focuses on...more
As a writer, the most inspiring bits about this book were the children's poems.
I love that Koch promotes teaching children as though they are thoughtful capable human beings, since they are and aren't often treated as such.
This isn't a great book, but it was an interesting read.
The anthology is useful for writing prompt ideas.
This book is a delight! Koch picks some great, classic poems and tells you some ways to teach them to children, and then he samples the children's response poetry. At the end is an all-time-encompassing anthology of great poetry. What more do you need? His instructions are perfect (not to mention the short example poems that he wrote himself), and anything written by children is bound to be worth reading. I loved it.
Matthew Metzdorf
Pretty cool concept, teaching classic poems by Blake, Shakespeare, Whitman, etc. to children. Not the sort of book to read for enjoyment. More of a reference book that is pedagogically engaging...Some of the children's poetry is amazing, but mostly kids suck at poetry so it wasn't the most entertaining read
Barbara Lovejoy
This is such a wonderful book. It was written to help teachers teach children to write poetry. I am interested in it for that reason but I also felt this need to start writing myself. I am going to use the ideas in the book to get started on my own writing.
In this book, Kenneth Koch covers processes to get children thinking and writing about poetry -- included are poems from kids of all ages who were in his classes. Such a great book for every parent and teacher to own.
Dec 27, 2007 Kitty rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves writing
Wonderful inspiration for writing and teaching poetry to young children with classic examples of poems from Shakespeare to Rimbaud, "Voyelles", Asian, African sources as well as inspiring creativity from the children's work.

Jan 30, 2008 Kate rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teach-o-phobes
Shelves: teaching-tools
interesting introduction, though it rambled and said the same thing over and over again, helpful ideas for extracting some child-friendly activity from an adult writing. i don't like his translations from the french.
This is one of my go to books for teaching poetry to kids. I agree with Koch that students need to see real poetry and be excited by the power of the words.
contains just about any of my favorite writers. I'm using the older version, I believe. But it comes in handy as a textbook/reference.
I loved reading this book and I used many of his ideas in my own writing but I love using this book in my teaching even more.
Short and rich. Contains 10 prompts for student poetry along with student samples. Nice addition to a teacher's toolbox.
one of the books that changes my a teacher...and a poet dreamer :) I met him once. It was amazing.
Great resource for teaching poetry, much better than anything put out in recent years that I've seen.
The best book about teaching poetry.
Abi Allanson
Such exciting teaching ideas
Andy marked it as to-read
Sep 09, 2014
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Kenneth Koch is most often recognized as one of the four most prominent poets of the 1950s-1960s poetic movement "the New York School of Poetry" along with Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery and James Schuyler. The New York School adopted the avant-garde movement in a style often called the "new" avant-garde, drawing on Abstract Expressionism, French surrealism and stream-of-consciousness writing in the a...more
More about Kenneth Koch...
The Collected Poems Making Your Own Days: The Pleasures of Reading and Writing Poetry Wishes, Lies, and Dreams: Teaching Children to Write Poetry New Addresses Selected Poems

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