The Quintet: The Benefit of Teaching Form in Special Needs Classrooms
Professional writers and educators share their techniques for teaching imaginative writing and review books on writing pedagogy and related subjects. Please visit the Teachers & Writers website to learn more and to view this month's current lesson plan and featured writer. Corie Herman earned her M.F.A. from New York University and is a T&W writer-in-residence. A finalist for the 2002 Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize, her poetry has appeared in Kalliope, Caylx, and Phoebe. Her first collection of poems, Radishes Into Roses, was published by Linear Arts Press. "I have found, as a teaching-artist serving District 75 schools in New York City, that introducing short poetic forms to students with special needs has many benefits. For many emerging readers and writers and students with autism, poetic structure offers definable freedom, obtainable goals, and the opportunity to use other learning strengths, such as math. The quintet, popularly known as the cinquain, is an American poetry form developed by Adelaide Crapsey (1878-1914). The form was influenced by the Japanese tanka and haiku, and consists of five lines with twenty-two syllables (distributed as 2, 4, 6, 8, 2). Here is a typical class that integrates interpersonal skills, reading, writing, vocabulary, musicality, and movement."