The Current Logo

Lesson 2

Written by Venneasha Davis
November 09, 2017

Objective: Students will be able to be introduced to poetry that engages them in this medium of spoken expression,explore the power of poetry that is written to be spoken,examine spoken word as a form of poetry that is written to be performed, and examine different literary techniques in spoken word.

Time:45 min



  1. Ask students to write in their journal one thing that they walked away with from the previous lesson.  Advise students to get in a small group of 2-3 and share the photos taken for homework.  They say “A picture is worth a thousand words” As you look at your peers selfies what assumptions can you make about that person’s mood or character?  Together share your thoughts.
  2. Explain to students that often time people make assumptions without knowing the full story or the whole truth.  But if we could tell them how we really feel what would we say and how would be say it.  How would could you tell someone that you are proud to be a Black Man, Latina Woman, Pansexuale Male, or a beautiful size 16 or 2.  How can you tell the world or the person sitting beside you that you are not the problem, but maybe they are the problem and the lies that society feeds them.
  3. Write the word Spoken Word on the board and provide students with 1 minute to write down what they think this means? Allow for 2-3 students to share out their responses.Watch the video “Somewhere in America

    Instruct students to take notes. Watch and listen twice.

  4. During the first viewing students should pay attention to the words that stand out when they hear the poem/performance. Have students write down the words that they hear. During the second viewing, students should listen for visual images that they see in the poem. Have students draw these images. After students complete this activity, have them share their results.
  5. Ask students after viewing this selection write their definition of Spoken Word. Did your definition change? Allow for students to come to the realization that Spoken Word is someone’s TRUTH.
  6. Allow time for students to read the poem “Let America Be America Again” by Langston Hughes.
  7. Draw connections between poetry that is written to be spoken and poetry that is written to be read. Have students take notes.
  8. Engage in group discussion (In spoken word every word counts there is typically no such room for open-ended interpretation with spoken word. To make the listener have to work for understanding is to lose the audience. Spoken word relies heavily on audience engagement).
  9. For homework students need to look through their phone or take a minimum of 3 pictures that expresses where they’re from, and where they go or do to feel at peace.