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M. Maiocchi

Politecnico di Milano (ITALY)
There is a specific poetic literature for children, supposed to unable to appreciate classics. Such a literature choose topics and form according to principles od simplicity in though and in perception. Usually, this kind of literature is built for fruition purposes, and children are not supposed to take part to composition.
In the primary school, more or less around the fourth year (9 old), one of the learning goals is written expression capability, and pupils are required to compose texts around some defined subjects (friends, parents, a journey, etc.), often with difficulty and scarce results.
The paper reports an experience in a classroom of the fourth year fo the primary school (9 old), about teaching how to practice classic poetry.

Some unconventional choices have been followed:
- the use of “classics” (from Dante to modern poets, including maudit authors, but avoiding children literature);
- the presentation of metrics and prosodic techniques, mainly to make children familiar with sounds and rhythms (from bysillable to hendecasillable, from short compositions to sonnets, haiku, and so on);
- the presentation also of many contemporary authors, rich of linguistic jokes (tautograms, calligrams, antonimic ompositions, etc.);
- the request to children to cerate, step by step, autonomously, their ownd poetic compositions, respecting all the provided rules.

The intervention was carried on within eight hours, along about 40 days, and required:
- a simple ryme-dictionary;
- the use of a traditional dictionary;
- the slides for the lessons;
- the emphasized acting of the poems;
- some example on short movies (mainly from Youtube);
- some autonomouscomposition task and some team work.

The experience produced ashtonishing results, among which:
- some enforcement of scholar practices (grammar used for ford analysis, hyphenation, use of dictionary, retc.);
- evaluation and count of accents;
- the discovery of anagrams, mono-vowel compositions, creative linguistic compositions: everything for playng with the language;

The relevance of the rules toi be respected kept all the attentional effort on them, reducing censorship on the contents, and allowing thougths emerge freely, with poetic effect and very interesting results.
The paper will present in detail the experience, the organisation, the results, and will provide a lot of examples of the best composition produced, with some critical remarks.