Like a cloud, sometimes the best poetry is organic, appearing right out of an unknown vapor.
Poetry is the unit my juniors start their year with.
P-o-e-t-r-y. I’ve found that students, from young to old, either love it or hate it. There usually is no in between.
How to get them started? Tupac’s “The Rose that Grew from Concrete.” Students tend to do well in understanding and appreciating the piece, while remaining focused along the lesson.
But…what to do with this type of poem, which is known as spoken word?
To assert the fact that every day we read and write, I have them compose one of their own.
I direct them to access their photos, social media accounts, emails, texts, calendars starting from June 1 until the first day of school, August 21. They had to write down what they did over the course of the summer: the good, the bad, the typical, the boring, even considering alternatives if they could go wherever and do whatever. With this free write, they are able to pull out the best nuggets – words, phrases, comments, questions to compile about 10 lines worth of a poem. Once with an initial draft, they are able to play with rhyme, diction and experiment with other literary devices to figure out their own style.