All posts in Volta

It’s been an incredibly fun and insightful residency at Volta, but unfortunately, today was our last class. I reminded the students that in addition to teaching poetry, I write it as well, so I […]

For our final writing day together, the 4th grade poets at Volta created collage poems with a word bank to choose from or add (just a few words) to. Each table of students received […]

Emily Dickinson’s “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers” was our focus this week. We talked about its multitudinous use of em dashes, unusual capitalization, and rhyme, but especially its central metaphor comparing a bird […]

After a recent field trip, Ms. Sontag, one of the teachers I work alongside, came up with an exciting follow-up poetry prompt. A few days before we met, both classes went on a field […]

Last week, we read and discussed Federico Garcia Lorca’s “The Guitar.” In class, we’ve previously examined how some writers choose personification from among many literary devices. However, the title musical instrument isn’t the only […]

In previous classes, I noticed that the student poets at Volta enjoyed writing and talking about some of their favorite items at home: Nintendo switches, soccer balls, or even pens with invisible ink. This […]

After a few weeks off, we were back with poetry at Volta; and what better way to dive into the deep end than with Harryette Mullen’s “Wipe That Simile Off Your Aphasia”? This poem […]

The start of spring in Chicago felt like the perfect opportunity to write about our dreams. Using a lesson template from CPC poet Leslie Reese as a guide, the students at Volta read a […]

This week, the students at Volta looked at various examples of erasure poems, poems that are created by crossing out or drawing over parts of an existing text to reveal a poem. They then […]

This last week was the first full week of spring, so in celebration, Volta poets read “Spring Storm” by William Carlos Williams. In addition to personification, the poem includes imagery, a term I explained […]


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“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.