A great way to introduce writing and reading poetry to your students is through teaching a persona poetry unit. Persona poetry is when a poet makes the speaker of the poem someone other than the self. Popular persona poems often involve characters from popular culture, mythology, or history. Students tend to engage more in persona poetry because they recognize the characters and are excited to see them represented in a new format. It is smart for teachers to assign a persona poem as the first poetry assignment because it is usually easier for students to step into another person’s shoes than expressing their own personal experiences. Listed below are a few examples of persona poems and prompts students can work on relating to them: “Hulk Smash!” by Greg Santos - This is a humorous take on Hulk fraternizing in everyday life. You can have students analyze the use of syntax to convey Hulk’s personality. Students can write their own take on a superhero interacting in the human wor...
One way to encourage and promote a genuine love of writing for our students is by encouraging all of our students to publish their writing. There are countless online literary journals dedicated to promoting high school students’ writing. The possibility of getting published (or even paid for a published submission) is an excellent motivator for students to keep the pen moving. You can also integrate some of the writing prompts into your classroom routine through related writing prompts or free-write sessions into your class time. For some students, submitting work to publications may improve their confidence in their writing abilities and teach them how to edit their work. For other students, it may give them the boost that they need. By writing for a literary journal, students will learn how to look at their words through their audience’s eyes, a skill much desired in the workplace. One way to incorporate writing for a literary journal in your classroom is to assign students a ...
Teaching poetry is probably one of the hardest tasks as an English teacher. So many high school students come in with a negative preconception of poetry rooted from years of being taught to treat poems like dissections. It also doesn’t help that most of the poetry taught in school is decades old and therefore harder for students to make connections. Spoken word, a relatively new genre focused on oratory recitation, is poetry for the modern age. The performance element to the art form makes it easier for students to become engaged with the material. Most spoken word focuses on current issues which makes it more relevant. Students are also much more enthused to watch a video than to sit down and annotate a poem. However, it is important to teach poetry annotation also. Incorporating spoken word into your poetry curriculum might convert students into poetry lovers. Here are some videos to get your students started on spoken word and some exercises to kickstart students into thinkin...
Getting students engaged in a poetry unit can be a challenge. Here are some fun projects to incorporate in your classroom to help spark students’ creativity and boost their learning potential. Blackout Poetry Do you have old books or short stories collecting dust on the bookshelves of your classroom? Repurpose them into beautiful works of poetic art. To do this, give each student some colored markers and a page of text. Using the concepts they learn in class, have your students create a poem from the words that already exist on the page. Each student should read his or her page, scanning the text for significant words, phrases, or ideas that could be in a poem. Have them circle these words or short phrases, and on a separate sheet of paper, write them out in the order they appear in the text. Students should now be able to create a poem using these words they pulled out of the page. Remind them that the order the words appear in the text is how they must be in the poem they’re ...