As National Poetry Month winds down, consider inviting students to perform some of the poetry they have read and written throughout the month. Performing poetry allows students to read with expression, using their voice and gestures to convey the meaning of the text. With repeated readings of a poem, younger students become fluent readers and increase their comprehension. Older students analyze and develop their own interpretation of a poem’s meaning and representation through performance. Take a look at the following resources from NCTE and ReadWriteThink.org.
Performing poetry incorporates oral reading, literature, and the performing arts. This strategy can benefit content area readers, English language learners, or learners with special needs. Read more in this Strategy Guide.
In this lesson, students watch an example of poetry performed orally and then discuss elements of the performance that lead to reading fluency. Students then select a poem to perform in class. A performance critique sheet is used to evaluate performances and can be used for self-evaluation, peer evaluation, and teacher evaluation.
By being present and mindful on nature walks, students write haiku using vivid sensory language; and explore body movement, music and art as visual and kinesthetic representations of their poetry in the lesson plan “Experiencing Haiku Through Mindfulness, Movement & Music“.
“Crossing Boundaries Through Bilingual, Spoken-Word Poetry” has students explore the idea of “crossing boundaries” through bilingual, spoken-word poetry, culminating in a poetry slam at school or in the community.
In this lesson plan, using their voices as interpretive instruments, students gain a deeper appreciation of the art of poetry as they prepare a recitation of the frequently anthologized poem “Those Winter Sundays”.
Wordplaygrounds: Reading, Writing, and Performing Poetry in the English Classroom shows how students can move beyond the traditional boundaries of English curricula, interpreting poetry through a variety of media, including music, art, and dance—without special talent and training in these areas.
How do your students perform poetry?