Happy Earth Day!
I taught again today the lesson I described on day 10. It was another group of 6/7s and I used the same poems from Joyful Voices for them to practice and present. One difference was that I didn’t use the Shane Koyczan “To This Day” as the introduction. I found that, while a great piece, it didn’t exhibit the particular characteristics of slam poetry I wanted my students to notice and attempt to imitate: Koyczan’s piece is too polished, too smooth.
Luckily, the other night I came across this piece from the Brave New Voices festival slam competition (this particular piece has been picked up by Upworthy and made a round on facebook so you may have seen it.) It is a poem for two voices, which is great for my students to see and hear what I’m going to be asking them to do in the second part of the lesson. I ask them to listen for how the two voices work together, and off each other. This piece is by two young women and is on the subject of religious stereotypes.
If you poke around the Brave New Voices website, you will find the Speak Green page. What a perfect source for Earth Day! (you can use it next year.) This collection of environmental poetry is a pretty cool spark to inspire some of our young poets to challenge themselves to focus their creative voices on a issue that matters to all of us.