Would you rather be a poet or a rapper??
To some of us...there's little difference. How many times have you heard a lyric in a song so poignant and poetic that it rivets your soul? Like some of you, I can listen to a song and travel back in time. There's a commercial out right now by Volvo that captures exactly what I mean:
So...being a kid of the 80s/90s and loving all genres of music (like I love all genres of books), I thought I'd collaborate and combine my two great loves: poetry and music...specifically rap music! I came across the idea a couple of years ago via Book Riot's post: Poetry Line or Rap Music.
We begin the lesson with a few foundation questions via a Gallery Walk!
With 8 poster size sticky notes and the following questions, we were able to build a foundation for the poetry vs. rap:
1. What are some characteristics of poems?
2. How do you encounter poetry in your everyday life?
3. What is poetry to you?
4. What makes a good poem?
5. What makes poetry easy? Difficult?
6. If poetry was a food, then which food and why?
7. What can poetry teach you?
8. Would you trust a poet? Why/why not?
***Here's the bonus, each poet/poem/poetry can be replaced with a rap/rapper/rapping!
After the Gallery Walk, we discuss and move into the core lesson, analyzing a rapper's book of poetry!Presenting TuPac Shakur's The Rose That Grew From Concrete!
So using a template, we review some pre-selected poems (some of them aren't appropriate for children under 10). My favorite poem from this collection is "Liberty Needs Glasses:"
Here's my modeled poem review:
To conclude the lesson, we either play the aforementioned Book Riot: Poetry vs. Rap as a game (split the class in teams and award points for each correct guess) or we conclude with an ACROSTIC poem.
If you like my library advocacy w/a hip-hop twist, then please check out what I did with 2016 Texas Bluebonnet Book Winner, When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip-hop! Also, check out this book-talk on The Rose That Grew From Concrete:
As an extra bonus, there's a book out called The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. It's the perfect culmination of me, this blog post and the current strife in America:
I just had to include this tweet about Tupac Shakur...he's been dead 10 years, yet HE STILL LIVES! Lol!