All posts in 9th Grade

“We were afraid of everything,” begins the poem “Fear” by Dorianne Laux. I asked students to describe the fears of teenagers and compiled a selection of lines into a collaborative poem.   FEAR Manley […]

We read “homage to my hair” by Lucille Clifton. I encouraged the students to choose something they loved about themselves and write a poem in praise of that. 4th period praise for my speed […]

Sylvia Plath’s poem “Mirror” explores the imagined persona of a mirror hanging in a house. What would your mirror say if it could talk? 4th period Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall Karmelle S. I […]

Richard Wright is better known for his novels, but he also wrote thousands of haiku poems towards the end of his life, 400-some of which he selected to be published in a book released […]

We read “What it’s Like to Be a Black Girl (for those of you who aren’t)” by Patricia Smith and talked about identity, both in the poem and in our own lives. Patricia Smith […]

We’re back! I took this week’s writing idea from Kenneth Koch’s landmark book about teaching poetry, “Wishes, Lies and Dreams.” We reflected on change, metaphor and imagery, then wrote our own poems about before […]

Today we read “Woman” by Nikki Giovanni and “Litany” by Billy Collins, two very different poems that employ a similar device: comparing people to seemingly unrelated things, like places, inanimate objects and elements of […]

I’ll be visiting three freshman classrooms at Manley Career Academy High School this school year. I’m really excited to work with these students and their teacher, Ms. O’Neal. We read Marge Piercy’s “Colors Passing […]

TEAM Englewood – Week 11 So, we took a break from having a model text this week, as the students had read and seen many poems at this point, and we did something very […]

TEAM Englewood – Week 10 This week we looked at our insecurities through “Hanging Fires” by Audre Lorde (it was very successful with my younger poets at Moos). Sometimes the youths insecurities were external […]


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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.