Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Appreciating Poetry...One Beat at a Time

Since this month is National Poetry Month, I decided to approach the subject through a known genre: music.  Specifically, hip hop from Nikki Giovanni's book, Hip Hop Speaks to Children.  I began by introducing the book to 5th graders with a mini interview from NPR's All Things Considered.  In this interview they talk about poetic terms, include pieces from the book, and why this form of poetry is unique.  The interview page also includes excerpts from the CD, which I played for the students to listen to, as well.

The point of this exercise was for students to listen to the poetry and visualize images or hear the beat in which the words are said.  I didn't want them to just listen for rhyming words.  So, they could get the point of this exercise I played two segments before the CD excerpts from Discovery Education United Streaming from Literature for Children: Sounds of Poetry.  One section was about how poetry creates mood and breaking down rhythm and rhyme for better understanding.

They were very interested in listening and even were amazed that hip hop is considered poetry or to be more specific that the musicians were writing a form of poetry.

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