During National Poetry Month I always try to encourage teachers to utilize various tools of technolog to promote the art of poetry writing and craft of performing. Unfortunately, since I’ve been in Texas, testing has always been the focus of every classroom teacher during this month. However, I walked into an ELA class today and observed a teacher going over interpreting poems for the STAAR test and I asked if I could interject and display something to her class. The class was a pretty gifted one, so she didn’t mind. I showed the students the following article and video which I discovered several years ago and we both simply watched the engagement of the students elevate.
After going through the article and viewing the video we broke down the poem written by Jessica Blandon. The students were blown away with how they were able to interpret the poem along with the power of words. Then I grabbed a couple of laptops and a some Blue USB microphones and sat them in front of the students and simply said, “Write!” The challenge was to take the practice poem for the test and write their interpretation as a poem. They had to record themselves, critique the poem with a peer and then apply music that exposed the underlying tones of their interpretation.
The end result… they truly understood the poem.