Engaging with social and community concerns

29 Dec

Next year, one of my junior classes will explore how a selected social issue is represented in poetry and speeches.  I am keen to begin the unit by encouraging students to build their knowledge of this issue and engage with real world events.  To do this, I am going to provide students with a selection of newspaper articles about the chosen issue. Each student will select ONE article.  Each will then create a poem using only the language of the article, blacking out the words that are not relevant to their poem.

A variation on this activity is to furnish each table group with a selection of articles, scissors and glue, allowing students to cut out words from the articles and arrange them in the form of a poem.  This option would allow students to re-jig the order of language while also providing opportunities for students to meaningfully engage with the positioning of language on the page and the symbolic or aesthetic significance of font and colour.  Unlike the first option, this activity would also allow students greater freedom as it would not confine them to one specific event or situation.

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