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Linguistic Development--A Rose Academy Review

I recently was able to review the newly updated, second edition Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization by Institute for Excellence in Writing. IEW was so very generous to also include a printed version of the student book. When you order this product you receive a PDF download of the student book, and there is an option to purchase a printed student book if you would prefer that. 

To simply say that I love this product, would be a major understatement! A couple years ago, I included this resource in the English classes that I taught. Each week the students would memorize a poem, then recite it for the class the following week. We had so much fun memorizing poetry together! More importantly, they all received some public speaking confidence and learned about speaking clearly and loudly enough for the whole room to hear them. Of course I rewarded them with tickets, which were then used to participate in an auction at the end of the year. Fun times for sure!

Fast forward to the present. This resource has recently been updated. I really didn't think it could get any better. I mean, I was pretty thrilled with it the way it was.

But guess what? Now it's even easier to implement, plus there are several extra components to help parents get started teaching their kids how to memorize. And once they start, it's hard to stop! The brain is truly an amazing thing. Once they begin memorizing poems, the following poems just become that much easier to memorize, even though the poems do become somewhat longer and more challenging.
Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization  IEW Review

I have always been amazed at how quickly my kids can memorize something. They only need to hear the song, verse, poem, quote a few times and BOOM! it's memorized. This poetry resource is no different. Not only are the poems engaging, they are also recorded on CD. You can simply put the disc in your CD player while driving around town and review or memorize your poetry lessons. OR you can load the poems onto an mp3 player (or in my case, my iPhone or iPad) and the kids can listen with their earbuds. There is just something satisfying about wearing those things. They also help minimize distractions. Plus it makes their poetry review quiet, so other kids can concentrate on their music practice or math facts.

Included in the second edition:

  • Spiral bound teacher's manual
  • Levels 1-4 poems
  • Level 5 Speeches
  • Free downloads from IEW.com
    • student e-book (170 pages)
    • 7 audio MP3's
      • Nurturing Competent Communicators
      • Mastery Learning, Ability Development, and individualized Education
      • Ten Thousand Times and Then Begins Understanding
      • On Listening
      • On Speaking
      • On Reading
      • On Writing
  • 5 CD's corresponding to each of the 5 levels of poems and speeches included in a leather portfolio
  • DVD presentation of the talk Nurturing Competent Communicatiors

Here's what I love most about this product: there is so much information for the parents. It's much, much more than just a list of poems to memorize. The student pages include illustrations to go along with many of the poems. There are checklists to better maximize the review of already learned poems as well as learn new poems. The checklists keep the kids on track. The teacher's manual includes the how and why behind the program. After reading the introduction, you will be thoroughly prepared to implement this memory program with your own children. And the BEST part is that poetry memorization does not have to take all day.

Of course our family has our favorite poems from this resource--After the Pary by William Blake, Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll, and Casey at the Bat by Ernest Lawrence Thayer--but my personal favorite happens to be The Embarrassing Episode of Little Miss Muffet by Guy Wetmore Carryl. I love to read this one out loud with all kinds of expression. I suppose it embarrasses my kids, but I still like to do it. And I think they secretly enjoy listening.

At the end of each level, the students are encouraged to choose a personal selection to memorize. This is when we pull out the poetry books and look through them for a new poem to memorize. This is when the poetry becomes fun as we all read and enjoy searching for an inspiring challenge. 

I really do believe that using IEW products is the best way for my kids to learn language arts skills. Over the years, their products have truly turned my kids into confident listeners, speakers, readers, writers, and thinkers. Now they may not love to write or speak in public, but the important thing is that they CAN. They know HOW. And that's important for their future.

Would you like to read what other reviewers had to say about Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization? Check out the Review Crew Blog for more!

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