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No Fear Shakespeare!

A brave group of 8th Graders tackled our old friend Bill Shakespeare with gusto over the past two weeks. Class discussions involved:  The Is it Shakespeare of is it Rap? […]

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‘You ate my/other calf’: Lousy Language #2

Spring is in the air…or at least it is trying to be. So, with that in mind, this lesson had us looking at Kevin Young’s love/ ‘nonsense’ poem, Errata. Young’s poetry […]

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Super Powers Activate!

Illustration Credits: Green Lantern-Jordon R., Arrow-Lizette A., Aqua Man-Angel P., Wonder Woman-Victoria D.-Black Widow-Anissa C.,  Hanna Montana-Anon., Spider Man-Joseph A. This week had us looking at (you guessed it) Superheroes […]

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Can You Repeat That, Please?

This lesson had us continuing our journey down the road of patterns in speech, with a look at Phil Kaye’s personal and haunting performance poem, Repetition . How does simply repeating a line, […]

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Emily Dickenson Goes To Washington: Chapter Two

Our second week of Emily Dickenson had us looking at her poem,  I’m Nobody! Who are you? Discussion followed on identity, iambic trimeter and tetrameter, dashes, rhyme and patterns in language […]

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Emily Dickenson Goes To Washington: Chapter One

This lesson was an introduction to Rhyme Scheme and the short form in Emily Dickenson’s poem, To Make A Prairie.  We worked with AAABB rhyme scheme, wondered if Ms. Dickenson […]

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‘bribble bribble/Down the quart’: Lousy Language #1

This week we took a look at e.e. cumming’s poem, [love is more thicker than forget]. If it sounds like lousy language, it is! Made up words and all figure […]

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Travel Ban: Poems About NOT Going

Last week we took a look at Richard Blanco’s poem about missed destinations in, We Are Not Going To Malta. Students were then given travel brochures exhibiting lush locales (decidedly […]

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‘Like’ me: Simile and List Poems #2

This week I used the poem, Sweet Like A Crow by Michael Ondaatje, as a jumping off point to discus Simile, Epigraph, and Dedication in poetry.  Students were then asked […]

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I Don’t Know Why Blue is Shy

This week’s class focused on concrete details, description, repetition, and mysterious connections in Yannis Ritsos’ poem, Because, (translated from the Greek). Students were asked to imagine ‘excuse’ clauses that might be used to explain […]