Our next exciting teaching idea comes from Jackie of Piedmont, SC, a Special Education Teacher who works with special needs students. She has developed a unique emotional “outlet” for her students to express themselves. It is such a great success students and parents alike ask if Jackie will hold the event each year!
The Project: Poetry Slam.
An annual poetry slam is held for special needs students in my self-contained classes. We spend a whole month (April-National Poetry Month) creating original works of poetry. The students range from severe learning disabilities to emotional/behavioral issues. We have a poetry slam, held in a “coffeehouse” atmosphere. There is not a dry eye in the house once these kids reach the podium and deliver their poems filled with love, fear, acceptance, and inspiration. Self confidence triumphs!
The learning experiences through this Poetry Slam are endless. Their reading fluency and comprehension skills increase but more importantly, self confidence soars. These students do not always have an “outlet” for their emotions. Having them create works of poetry without the worry of the mechanics of writing instills a sense of freedom. Their true feelings of self worth and importance comes shining through their poems. People look forward to their poems each and every year!
I look forward to this Poetry Slam and the month of April every year. Everyone who attends this rewarding experience ask if I am doing it the next school year. To see these students who struggle in so many areas of their lives come alive through their writing makes me cry tears of joy. Poetry month ends up being very therapeutic for the students and everyone involved. I am so glad this experience happens every year.
Every year I borrow the props for the poetry slam. This proves to very time consuming. We also ask for donations for the refreshments after the slam. I would love to purchase a stool, podium, poetry books, floor lamp and video camera to capture each and every moment. I could purchase dvds so each student could have the event to take home to enjoy for years to come. Having video equipment and the props will help this annual event come alive!
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Brought to you by We Are Teachers partnership with PCI Education’s Teacher Grant Asks: http://www.weareteachers.com/ideas/partnerask/teachingidea?app=17055&grantId=75