book pageToday’s video introduces our next lesson, and I hope you’ll become as excited about it as I am about it! Yeah, it’s about writing a poem, but I’m going to leave the technical stuff for the lesson video. To get you into the spirit of things, watch Nova Venerable deliver her poem, “Apartment on Austin.” Then you’ll understand where we want to take things.

Today’s Lesson

1. Watch The Video: Find Your Voice, Be the Change

Before you watch, I need to tell you that I put a clip of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech in my presentation. I could hear the audio just fine. But when I checked the playback, there was no sound! Of course: I had worn a headset, and the computer’s microphone couldn’t pick it up. If you want to watch it, you can click here. Skip the silence that runs from 2:00 to 4:35 in “Find Your Voice.”

2. Watch We Are the Dream

UPDATE: Students have told me that the old link link no longer works. Try clicking this link, scrolling to the bottom, and clicking on the We Are the Dream video (enter your school email when prompted.) Much easier than copying and pasting into your browser. You’ll be prompted to enter your email address before you can watch; use your school email.

3. Do the assignment questions

Directions: These are constructed response questions. You are to use the RACE method to frame your response. (Evidence, in this case, refers to lines from the documentary. Times are shown to help you speed up your search.) The expected length of each paragraph is 70 words.

  1. Watch these before-and-after clips and compare Gregory Payton’s practice with his performance. What did he change between his early rehearsal (3:07 – 3:50) and his performance (48:42 – 51:47). Did it make him a better speaker? (Two paragraphs)
  2. Two girls practice a poem about the discrimination they and their family have experienced (15:50 – 18:15). How do the hand gestures the girls use reinforce the words they are speaking? (One paragraph)
  3. Use the scene cited in question 2 above and explain why you do or not agree with Lamiya and Abrar’s position that America has different definitions of freedom for people who practice different faiths. (One paragraph)
  4. Madeline Guevara talks about how she handles being nervous onstage (21:20 – 22:03). What did she say she did to calm her nerves? Compare it with a method you use to deal with stage fright. (One paragraph)

That’s it. Upload the answers to those questions via Classroom, and you can start working on your poem.

3 thoughts on “Poetry Slam!

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