Prose & Poetry (Toolbook Series)
Residing in this handy volume are the explanations and examples of literary and poetic elements you've been looking for! After a short preface, the entire book consists of reproducible student pages, and is pretty much self-instructional. According to the author, "Words are tools, and mastered words are power tools." In this spirit, all of the exercises are reality-based and constitute actual practice in using each new term as a tool. The first part of the book covers the basic tools: setting, plot, mood, conflict, style, theme, point of view, slant, and character, with a special section on outlining. The second part covers the shared vocabulary of poetry and prose: figures of speech (antithesis, apostrophe, hyperbole, irony, literary allusion, metaphor, metonymy, oxymoron, personification, simile, synecdoche, and understatement). Each of these first two sections contains a definition of the term, a cartoonish depiction of the concept, additional explanation, examples, and exercises. Answers to these exercises are included in the back of the book. The final part covers the specialized vocabulary of poetry: melody (alliteration, assonance, and rhyme), onomatopoeia, rhythm, and rhyme schemes. It also presents and explains various types of poetry including: epic, narrative, lyric, acrostic, ballad, blank verse, didactic, dramatic, elegy, epigram, epitaph, free verse, haiku, light verse, limerick, ode, parody, pastoral, satire, sonnet, and wordplay. A special section on poetry explication, complete with sample questions and sample explication elements ends the unit. One of the problems I've encountered in using a non-text approach to literature in the upper grades is the hit-or-miss presentation of literary terms. Some guides touch on a concept or two in each guide but what are the chances that my high schoolers will be exposed to all of them in our course of study? So, I've been on the lookout for a book just like this, to make sure my children have the familiarity and understanding of literary and poetic terms they'll need in college - regardless of the literature program we use.