Poetry Slam!

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SWBAT perform their versions of the scrambled poem

Big Idea

This coffeehouse may be "decaf," but it has lots of energy!

Latin Roots Warm Up

10 minutes

This is our daily warm up, wherein students work with two or three Latin roots per day.  The resource that I use to get my roots is Perfection Learning's Everyday Words from Classic Origins.
Every day, when the students arrive, I have two Latin roots on the SmartBoard.  Their job is to generate as many words as they can that contain the roots, and they try to guess what the root means.  After I give them about five minutes, we share words and I tell them what the root means.

The students compile these daily activities in their class journals.  After every twelve roots, they take a test on the roots themselves and a set of words that contains them.

Practicing for Performances

10 minutes

In a previous lesson, students worked in teams to create original poems from a scrambled version of Poe's "To One in Paradise."  Then, they typed up their poems and turned them in.

We started this section of class by distributing the poems.  Student had about ten minutes to practice their poems and to decide if they were going to add any acting or motions to their performances.  I left that totally up to them.

Also during this time, students signed up to determine the order of performances.  This makes transitions go much more smoothly.

Poetry Slam!

10 minutes

While the nature of most poetry slams is competitive, this one was more "celebratory."  The students read or performed the poems that they created with their partners.  To be honest, the performances kind of overshadowed the poems (at times,) but the kids really enjoyed the experience.

It's important to note that we did this activity late in the school year.  Earlier this year, I had issues with students who didn't want to perform or speak in front of the group.  Everyone participated in this activity, and I think the kids did a great job.

The Unveiling of the Original Poem

10 minutes

At the end of the poetry slam, I put the original poem on the SmartBoard and asked a student to read it aloud.  

The reactions were predictable; most were particularly appreciative of the poetic elements, since they had just tried to create some of those effects themselves.  Others pointed out that Poe "got to" choose any words he wanted to...my response was, yes...but he made some good choices.