Poetry Slam

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Students will share their original poems in a fun showcase!

Big Idea

Students Take The Stage!


50 minutes

Other than my one class that takes place during lunch time for students on my campus, my classes all meet in the cafeteria on performance day. We do this because that is where our stage is located and I want to "up the ante" a bit by putting the students on stage to perform their poems.

My process for selecting the order of presentations is mostly focused on variety and flow. I am pretty familiar with each of the poems at this point, so I have gone through my roster to spread things out and shift things around. I used my observations from the previous day to determine who was feeling confident and who was likely to feel  stressed out. I try to make sure that I mix the struggling students in, in ways that will help to build confidence. As One student heads up tot he stage, I announce the student who is on deck and will go next. This helps us to maintain a flow and also helps to monitor the level of anxiety in the room, keeping it in check. 

Some of the students have really worked hard to include other students, visuals, etc. in their readings. Most students are very nervous, so they simply read their poem aloud in order to "get through it". As students present, I am sitting there in the middle of the students seated in the audience. During each reading, I take notes in the form of a plus/delta to provide concise and meaningful feedback that each student can apply right away to the next presentation and/or writing task. This helps me to do the grading as we go, rather than taking even more of it home. 

As kids are presenting, I have the audience members reviewing the Poetry Slam SL Rubric, as am I. Not only will the student get a plus/delta that addresses the overall, they also get the rubric score for the presentation. Much of the SL rubric includes concepts that are applicable in other types of presentation as well, so this feedback can be used to drive future work to support growth and development.