Poetry Analysis (+ Mini School Prep)

Paul Romani

Poetry Analysis (+ Mini School Prep)

Poetry analysis is one aspect of the VSB’s Mini School exam. It is a key part that most unprepared students are likely to do very poorly on, simply because poetry analysis is notoriously neglected in elementary school education in Vancouver.

To remedy this, Pear Tree Education offers poetry analysis classes between April and June to students in grade 6 in preparation for their Mini School Exam preparation course that begins in September when they’re in grade 7.

In Pear Tree’s intermediate level poetry analysis course, we have been looking at some fantastic poems, including Naming Myself by Barbara Kingsolver and poem 1 from Love in the Ruins by Jim Moore.

These fantastic poems enable our students to develop critical analysis skills of poems, both in terms of the content and the style of the poems.

Poetry Analysis - Mini School Exam

Most students will only consider the content of a poem, i.e. what the poem says. They will miss the importance of structure to a poem and how that adds so much to the meaning of the poem. In missing this, students have a very superficial understanding of poetry, at best. In our poetry analysis course, students will learn a wide range of common literary analysis terminology and apply that to these poems.

Following this, students have to learn how to write a detailed and cohesive essay. As with poetry analysis, many elementary school children in Vancouver have very little awareness of how to write an essay. Most have not been taught about the typical structure of an essay, i.e. introduction / main body / conclusion, or the components of a paragraph, i.e. topic sentence, supporting sentences / examples, and concluding sentence.

Since students generally have such weak knowledge of both poetry analysis and essay writing, Pear Tree has been proactive in creating a separate poetry analysis course. This gives students time to acquire these skills over a longer period of time than any exam preparation course could provide.

A student’s ability to conduct poetry analysis demonstrates their critical thinking skills, vocabulary, and essay writing ability. These are inherent skills of the Mini School exam, which embodies critical thinking, logic, and vocabulary awareness.

Find out more about Pear Tree’s poetry analysis course here.