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Wham! It's a Poetry Jam: Discovering Performance Poetry Paperback – April 1, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Using over 30 of her own poems as a guide, Sara Holbrook teaches readers how to present poetry with rhythm, movement and a strong voice in Wham! It's a Poetry Jam: Discovering Performance Poetry, with a foreword by Jane Yolen. Much of her advice is geared to teachers; guidelines and advice for organizing a poetry "wham" appear midway.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-5-The author of Walking on the Boundaries of Change (1998) and The Dog Ate My Homework (1997, both Boyds Mills) presents some of her poems along with tips on how to perform them. She explains how to move, how to put emotion behind the words, and how to make rhythm affect the performance in notes at the beginning of each poem, and occasionally in short, chatty captions at the end. Her instructions are easy to follow, although they often feel like lessons ("Can you think of some achy-breaky movements to put with this poem?"). She's also not consistent in the way she talks about voice projection-in two places she mentions volume or loudness, while later she explains that it's actually the strength of the voice, not its volume, that carries. The poems themselves vary in appeal, as they range from the goofy ("The dog ate my homework. You've heard that before? This one ate the table, then chewed through the door") to the righteous ("I'm not on your track, and my whistle is fixin' to scream. I'm warning you, Jack. Peer pressure just makes me get steamed"). Though not illustrated, the book has an inviting, colorful design with stars and spirals in pastels all over each page and text set on blocks of color, matching the energy in Holbrook's voice. Some readers will find this offering too teacherly and "for kids," but younger poets and adults may enjoy her suggestions on how to produce a poetry jam.
Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 9
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press; 1 edition (April 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590780116
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590780114
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #254,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By E. Scanlon on December 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
Of course, I am not advocating robbery, but all of the books that I put on my shelves by Sara disappear. This book will be another of those. I teach high school English to 9th graders and her books have broad appeal with my struggling readers and to my honor students. She speaks to the adolescent in all of them including me. It, however, is a great book for teachers to use to begin working on the art of performance poetry and poetry slams with your students. So if you are not afraid of a little noise, enthusiasm and excitement in your class then Wham ---get your own copy to jam with Sara and your students!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amy M. Miller on April 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
Holbrook, Sara. 2002. Wham! It's a Poetry Jam: Discovering Performance Poetry. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong Publishing. ISBN 1569379885.

"Show the world that poetry was never meant to simply lie quietly on the page, any more than kids were meant to sit quietly in their seats to read it." With this closing line Holbrook encourages teachers and librarians to try out the exercises outlined in this work to get kids up and performing poems from favorite poets and their own creations. The author includes her own poetry in this work to demonstrate performance poetry and include tips and advice to adults and kids on how best to perform certain works.

The format of this work lends itself to adults wanting to include performance poetry and poetry jams in their classrooms or programs. Each poem is paired with explanations on how best to perform the poem out loud, alone or with a group. The instructions are included at the beginning and end of each poem, and additional cues are highlighted in colored boxes of various shapes on each page. The author includes open ended questions to encourage children to think about how the poem sounds when performed with different tones and emotions and ways to include movement in the performance. Each page of cues, instructions and poems give teachers ample information on not only performing the poem offered but also encouraging children to want to perform. The work begins with poems suited to more than one voice to give children the safety of performing as a group. Holbrook then moves on to solo performances and how to instill the courage in children to give this a try.

The most useful chapter for adults working with children is "Get Ready to Wham: A Word (or Two) About Contests.
Read more ›
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By Deborah Winters on March 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Item was as described. I was looking for a less expensive way to stock my state award books, and buying a used, like new items works well for me.
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By Retired Educator on November 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Informational. My kids love the style. We may be basing our poetry jam on this book. Read it and enjoy.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
Her daughter is my teacher and we did an activity at the end of the year with this book. It really is top quality. Very Good!
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