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Standards, Knowledge, Skills, & Understandings

Written by Venneasha Davis
November 09, 2017

Content Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.1: Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.2: Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.3.D: Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.4: Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.5: Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.

All poetry is not spoken word, and all poets do not have the ability to be spoken-word artists. Spoken word poetry is said rather than read, the greater revelation is that spoken-word poetry is meant to be performed. Langston Hughes and E. E. Cummings are considered to be great poets. Amiri Baraka and The Lost Poets are revered as great spoken-word artists.

Spoken word has the ability to put power behind the words.  It is a way to express emotion, whether it be about life, love, the state of the world or one’s community, they can offer a very emotional and powerful experience.

Spoken word competitions or SLAM Poetry is not a rap battle. The art of spoken word did not become a national phenomenon until about 30 years ago, around the same time as hip-hop. The art of spoken word poetry is respected within the rap community because it is often defined as “performance poetry set to music.”  Embraced within the African-American culture, spoken word provides people with an outlet to share their social, racial and political views in a way that is creative and non-threatening, but influential and effective.

Essential Question
How can we use our voices as a weapon to discuss the many issues that are affecting our youth and the world in which they live; in a creative and non-threatening, but in an influential and effective way?  

Throughout this unit students will explore poetry as a medium of written and spoken expression. The goal is for students to gain appreciation for poetry as a medium for authors to express commentary on the pressing social issues or ism’s such as racism, sexism, ageism, classism, etc. that have affected our lives and so many lives before us.

Students will be able to identify and utilize literary techniques used by poets in their writing such as: Rhyme, Alliteration, Simile Metaphor, Symbolism, Point-of View, Climax, Interpreted Meaning, Onomatopoeia, Repetition, Personification, and Hyperbole.