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Santiago Rodriguez
Santiago Rodriguez

Performance Poetry Homework

Nature has always provided inspiration for poets, and it can help your students find their own way to a love of poetry. Find out how poet David Harrison uses nature to help kids tap into their poetic sides here.

performance poetry homework

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One of the easiest ways for many students to connect with poetry is by linking it with song lyrics. Visit the link below to find 15 fantastic song and poem pairings. Then, challenge your students to make their own pairings and explain the reasoning.

After you follow these five steps, rehearse your poem and then sign up for a local poetry slam! Note: Most slams do not require you to memorize your poem, but you might want to. When you don't have to hold a piece of paper, you can look directly at the audience and use your hands as tools during the performance, which will give you a competitive edge.

This list of poetry month activities is perfect for any elementary, middle, or high school classroom wanting to incorporate digital poetry activities using Nearpod, Flocabulary, or both in fun and immersive ways!

Good ideas often come with a little help. Shared poetry gives writers an extra boost. Using the Collaborate Board activity, the class develops shared class poetry. Creating a shared poetry lesson in Nearpod is quick, simple, and impactful with these steps:

Flocabulary offers poetry activities perfect for middle school and teaching high school poetry. There are lesson plans, handouts, vocabulary games and cards, quizzes, and a rhyme generator. Everything you need to teach engaging poetry lessons is ready and waiting!

Writing poetry is all about purposeful word choice and surfaces rich discussions on vocabulary by readers everywhere. Through learning about figurative language, all students can practice using academic vocabulary in less traditional concepts to showcase complex meanings.

Start discussions about poetry by learning the vocabulary used in the structure of poems with the figurative language lesson. Students watch the video to introduce the vocabulary and follow it with supporting activities that deepen their understanding of the terms along the way.

Students can use these poetry month activities to write poems about any topic across the K-12 curriculum. Although Lyric Lab can be used to write a rap about a topic, students can also take those same lessons and tools to create poetry.

While students can write poetry about any topic in Flocabulary, they can also watch the What is Poetry, Types of Poetry, and Rhyme & Rhythm lessons to support their knowledge of poetry in general. Teachers can share these lessons about poetry with students and ask them to write a poem about any topic in any core subject area. Historical figures are a teacher favorite for poetry writing with Lyric Lab.

Speaking and listening standards appear across many grade levels, with students being asked to perform speeches orally and understand and practice active listening skills. While writing poetry can help support vocabulary acquisition and deep understanding, performing poetry will help teachers meet some speaking and listening standards as well.

Why not let students share their poetry by hosting class slam poetry sessions? Poetry is meant to be read aloud. It evokes feelings, which can be felt when spoken. Poetry slams are beneficial not only with writing, but also reading fluency.

Start by explaining to your students what exactly a poetry slam is. A poetry slam is a competitive event in which poets perform their work and are judged by members of the audience. At a poetry slam, you will hear spoken word poetry (also known as slam poetry). This type of poetry is meant to be presented on stage. Although some spoken word poetry can be found in writing, it is meant to be performed rather than exist in print. Some of your students are likely already familiar with slam poetry. This form of creative expression has become extremely popular in recent years, and many slam poetry videos have gone viral online.

Slam poetry, just like all other types of poetry, has its own interesting history. Once your students have a strong understanding of what a poetry slam is, I suggest teaching them about how it got started.

In 1986, a construction worker and poet, Mark Smith, approached Dave Jemilo, the owner of the Green Mill (a Chicago jazz club), with a plan to host a weekly poetry competition on Sunday nights. Jemilo welcomed him, and the Uptown Poetry Slam was born on July 25 of that year.

Mark Smith instituted the basic features of the competition, including judges chosen from the audience and cash prizes for the winner. The Green Mill evolved to draw in performances from poets all around the world. Amazingly, the Uptown Poetry Slam continues to run every Sunday night!

The next thing I like to do with students when hosting a classroom poetry slam is to get them to actually judge slam poetry. For this, I show students videos of different popular slam poetry performances on YouTube. I then get them to give a score for each one. You can have some fun with this by getting students to hold up a piece of paper with a score between one and ten!

Finally, the last thing to discuss is whether or not to grade your classroom poetry slam. This is completely up to you. If you want to, you could provide a grade using a pre-established grading rubric that you provide students with at the outset. Or you can simply follow the scoring process outlined above in the poetry slam rules. For this, you will get your students to submit their scores for each performance. Then you can determine the final grades by dropping the highest and lowest values.

April is national poetry month, but you do not have to wait until those rainy days next spring to do fun poetry activities with your students. Try one or all of the following activities with your ESL students to help them appreciate the finer language of verse.

While you are in the competitive mood, why not host your own poetry slam. In a typical poetry slam, participants recite a poem for the audience who judges the performance based on the poem itself and the performance. You can find details on hosting a poetry slam at and get a feel for what a poetry slam is like. Feel free to allow your students to perform either their own poems or those of favorite poets, and have the class vote for a winner by applause. Your students will benefit from memorizing poetry and have fun with the performance aspect of their reading, just make sure you provide adequate time in class or at home for your students to memorize their poems.

You can make poetry personal for your students by introducing them to the popular piece Keep a Poem in Your Pocket by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers. After reading this poem with your class, use envelopes to make and decorate pockets that your students can attach to their desks. Each day of your poetry unit, have your students copy a favorite poem on to an index card and put it in their pocket. At the end of your unit, have your students make a cover and bind the index cards into a book. You can also challenge your students to memorize one of the poems they copied. You can ask them to perform the poem in front of the class or simply share with a friend or family member and relay the details of the experience.

Are you looking for an easy poetry activity for an independent learning center? Why not give your students access to a set of Magnetic Poetry? This simple collection of magnets sports one word on each piece of magnet. If you give students a magnetic white board or other magnetic surface, they can compose their own free verse poems with the available words. Your students will have fun exercising their creativity through play. Even if they only use the words to create long sentences, they will be practicing their grammar skills and word order rules through an activity that feels more like a game than language studies.

Limericks are another fun poetry pattern that your students may enjoy composing. You can find a more detailed explanation and example at, but the basic pattern of a limerick is five lines following the rhyme pattern AABBA. The A lines should have three sets of three syllables each, and the B lines should have two sets of three syllables each. Limericks are often humorous and lighthearted, sometimes making a joke. You can encourage your students to be funny if they can when writing limericks, and be sure to share some examples with them, but keep them clean.

Poetry slams are often held in local communities, usually on a weekly, monthly, or bimonthly schedule. They may be held anywhere they are allowed, including in parks, bookstores, coffeehouses, and bars. Anyone can participate in a poetry slam. Poets perform their work and then five random audience members judge them on a scale of 0 to 10. The highest and lowest scores are dropped, and the three remaining scores are added to give the poet an overall score. Whoever has the highest score at the end of the competition is the winner.

Although the rules associated with poetry slams may vary by location or event, there are some general guidelines. For example, the poets need to create and perform original poems. They may perform as individuals or in groups with other poets. If a poem exceeds three minutes, the judges may deduct points from the score. In addition, the poets are not allowed to use props or musical accompaniment when performing the poem. However, the poets may sing, clap, hum, or make noise with the mouth or other body parts.

In addition to local community poetry slams, several larger tournaments are held in the United States. Although they mostly feature poets from North America, the events are open to people from countries around the world. The Individual World Poetry Slam is an annual four-day tournament showcasing individual performances. Likewise, the four-day Women of the World Poetry Slam highlights performances by individual females. The National Poetry Slam is an annual six-day tournament with four- or five-person teams of poets. The host cities for these tournaments generally change each year.


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