Teaching Poetry: Compare Slam Poetry to Traditional Poetry

Teaching Poetry Can Be Fun

Increase student engagement while building college readiness skills. Incorporate slam poetry into your classroom.

Teaching Poetry in the English Classroom

Teaching poetry is an important part of ELA instruction. Poems are short, accessible, and it is easy to find a traditional poem to pair with any text.  There are well-known poetry teaching strategies such as TPCASTT that help students to unpack complex texts, and students are exposed to beautiful imagery and figurative language as they analyze poetry.

Why You Should Add Slam Poetry to Your English Curriculum

Several years ago, I made the scary-at-the-time move to incorporate slam poetry into our sophomore curriculum. Being an introvert, I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the idea of performance poetry at first, but I found it to be, yes, scary, but also uplifting, empowering, and totally worth the time investment. Every year I teach slam poetry, it never fails to amaze me how every student has a message to send and how slam poetry can promote increased student engagement and build classroom community. There is something about spoken word poetry that, as Sarah Kay says, “opens locks” and forms intersections between what students know to be true and the life experiences of others. As students gain the courage to write and perform their own poems, they find recognition and acceptance, as well as an authentic writing voice.

Resources for Slam Poetry Instruction

If all of this sounds good to you, but you’re not sure where to start, let me partner with you in that scary, yet exciting getting started with slam poetry teaching stage.  I have put together a collection of my best slam poetry teaching resources, and you can check them out here.  Or, you can sign up for my free slam poetry sound strategies worksheets using the opt-in form below and receive a special discount on my MEGA slam poetry bundle!

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