...This collection provides teachers with a scaffolding for their lessons by offering questions, examples, and writing prompts. This will be a valuable asset in the classrooms of new and veteran teachers alike. -Molly Meacham, teacher
Learn Then Burnby Tim Stafford (Editor), Derrick Brown (Editor)
As slam poets and teachers, we know the power of the spoken word in the classroom. All you have to do is attend a youth slam
Hello teachers! We know you work hard. Besides ninjas, you have the hardest job in the world. Between the teaching, the testing, the grading, and the nurturing it's difficult to seek out new materials for your classroom. We are here to help.
As slam poets and teachers, we know the power of the spoken word in the classroom. All you have to do is attend a youth slam or find a clip of one online and you will see the positive impact it has on our young people. It is able to engage kids from any background in a way that classical poetry simply cannot touch.
A complaint we've heard from many teachers is that they would love to use spoken word in their classrooms but they are afraid of getting in trouble. A bulk of spoken word poetry does have quite a few curses. After all, those poems were meant to be read to a rowdy crowd of adults at a slam and not a class full of kids. The poems come from the gut and sometimes an "F" bomb finds its way to the page. Unfortunately, this is what holds many teachers back from using spoken word in their classes.
So behold! We asked some of the best contemporary spoken word and slam poets to give us poems that would be appropriate for the classroom. This means you will not have to sift through this book with a highlighter to try and find the F's and the S's and the B's. We've provided poems from national slam champs, world slam champs, fellow teachers, and poets we feel are the best of what's around.
We've also included some lessons. Some of these lessons have been tested out in the classroom, some not. Feel free to use these lessons as you see fit. Every teacher has their own style so please, do not feel like you have to use the lessons verbatim. Simplify, expand, modify, do whatever you need to do. You know your class so teach the poems the way that suits them best. The most important part is the poetry.
Learn then Burn,
Tim Stafford and Derrick Brown
- Write Bloody Publishing
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.40(d)
Read an Excerpt
Phone Wires by Nova Venerable Prison guards maced my father when I was 12. He fell asleep on his back that night, gas braiding down his throat like rain on power lines I wonder if he remembers he woke up screaming for me that I walked him to the bathroom, cleaned his eyes with cold water and put him back to bed. My mother used to tell me that my father was disgusting that I didn't have to see him if I didn't want to. "Tell the cops he's physically, emotionally and psychologically abusive” like I knew what that meant when I was eleven. I would wake my father up every night at 9:00 and braid his hair. Over, Under, Over, Under The grease seeped from his scalp and kept his dandruff suffocating under my fingernails. "Nova girl, you're gonna come see me more right? You're gonna tell the judge that you wanna see me just as much as your mother?” His eyes sagged, a job, pent up under each one. "Nova, just tell him you don't wanna see him anymore.” My mother dialed his number and stayed on the line, made sure that I left my father hung up on other end of chords, ending my father and I like phone calls. She taught me to break my father's heart with wires, my Baba and I haven't spoken since I was 12. My father's left eye sagged more than his right, night time prison guard stretched out his face. He risked his life every for his children every time he drove to Joliet. His right eye was darker, kept teaching at Chicago Public Schools cramped in the wrinkles of his skin, promise he would teach them like he did his children. Over, Under, Over, Under After I hung up the phone mom asked me if it was really all that hard to break my father's heart and at 17 I can finally answer her question. I can tell her I know why our relationship is choking I left father for mother and I wake up cold, dreaming about my Baba waiting to tell him that I have his eyes. Want to know if he wonders which college his baby girl is going to. I can tell her that I hate talking on the phone now I wish I could erase calls from five years ago so I wouldn't have lied when I told my father "Yes, Daddy, I'm gonna come see you more.”
Meet the Author
Tim Stafford is a poet and public school teacher from Chicago.
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