Each year the month of April is set aside as National Poetry Month, a time to celebrate poets and their craft. Students in Room 100 celebrated poetry with a classroom poetry slam.
Slam DefinedA poetry slam is a blend of poetry and performance in live competitions. Poetry slams gained fame in Chicago in the 1980s. Slam is a fast-paced competition where poets recite a poem to impress judges. Performers use voice and gestures to score points out of the judges.PreparationIn preparation for our poetry slam, students decorated our Poet-Tree with their selected poems. They spent several class periods coaching each other to stand alone in front of their peers and recite poetry.We transformed our classroom into a vintage 1980s coffee café by rearranging desks into cozy tables covered with paper tablecloths and battery-lit candles. The dim lighting set the mood for our Poetry Café. Menu boards lined the walls. Judges were selected and programs for the event were created.
The Poetry Café OpensThe day of our poetry slam excitement was high. Chalkboard tablecloths were lots of fun and creating the graffiti helped ease the nervousness before the performance.The judges started things off by reciting individual poems they had written for the students. Their poems set the tone for a fun, enjoyable competition.
Center StageEach finalist had his or her turn in the spotlight. They took their place on the stage and recited a poem. Instead of clapping at the end of each poem, guests were asked to snap their fingers in honor of the true poetry slam culture. The students enjoyed the active role an audience plays in a traditional poetry slam.Congratulations to the 2014 Poetry Slam ChampionsLauren Bosh, Gemma Mendez, Charli Bates, and Grace Day were this year's medal winners. In addition to the winners we want to thank each one of our students who inspired us with their amazing performance of poetry during National Poetry Month.
Thank you, THANK YOU! There are so many clever teachers who have posted and shared ideas for a poetry slam: Grace Rubensyein at Edutopia, Beth Newingham at Scholastic, and Brenda Dyck at Education World.