A new teaching resource is going to be slammed onto many English classroom desks starting this fall. Lesson plans for teaching oral poetry in Alberta have just been released, and it’s completely free to all.
Lesson Plans for Teaching Oral Poetry in Alberta
An example-based guide for teachers using spoken poems by Nisha Patel and BiCurious George. Compiled and created by Grayson Thate.
Posted by Nisha Patel
Free download by visiting books.google.ca/books/about?id=5PU8EAAAQBAJ&redir_esc=y&hl=en
English lessons will never be the same. Word has just arrived to the extent that slam poetry is teachable, with the release of a new lesson plan book based in part on the spoken word poetry of current Metro Edmonton Libraries writer-in-residence, Nisha Patel. .
The book, Lesson Plans for Teaching Oral Poetry in Alberta, is an example-based guide for teachers using spoken poems by Patel and BiCurious George, a Montreal-based poet. This makes Patel excited for September, when thousands of Alberta high school students can familiarize themselves with the energy and self-confidence that comes with slam poetry without all of the sacred semantics of old-school poetry.
“I think when you work in the community long enough you end up doing classroom visits. You are brought in for poetry units. Often we are seen as more modern alternatives to poetry. Students who really hate poetry see spoken word artists and get the idea that poetry is more than it used to be, ”Patel began.
“This is probably one of the first times someone has said to themselves, ‘Actually, let’s treat oral poetry the same way we treat poetry.’ Let’s plan our lessons on the assumption that this poetry is similar in nature, or can be just as easily understood. ‘”
Paul Kane, English teacher and coach of the Karen May Healey Poetry Slam Club, was delighted when the book’s release was announced. After reviewing its content, she enthusiastically described it as a fantastic resource and declined to praise Patel’s writing.
“As a poetry teacher, I am always on the lookout for texts that challenge and enlighten. Nisha’s writing is bold and honest, conveying ideas that express powerful emotions regarding race, gender, and social norms. These are the poems that generate lively discussion in our classrooms, ”Healey said.
“I am delighted that our local community has embraced Nisha as a poet laureate and author by encouraging her voice, which speaks to previously whispered topics that merit more open reflection.”
Healey highlighted how slam poetry in general can help connect with marginalized voices, providing a positive impact on the mental health of members of these groups.
“Students are pleasantly surprised when they see issues they can relate to in the pages of their textbook. Nisha, along with BiCurious George, wrote a text that opens a window to empathy about the issues that affect our students. It starts in the classroom and continues in the conversations and writings that take place afterwards. In these spaces, we learn more not only about our students, but also about ourselves. “
The new educational resource was also developed by Grayson Thate, a former St. Albert resident who was also Edmonton’s third Young Poet Laureate. The project was funded in part by the Canada Council for the Arts.
“Grayson was amazing. Grayson is the one who really did the heavy lifting here to figure out how a lesson plan works? What are the right questions to ask? We did the easy part of writing the poems and in some cases some of the poems are the ones the audience has heard before, ”Patel added.
Patel, a young but seasoned performer of spoken poetry, recently completed her two-year tenure as the Edmonton Poet Laureate, but she still remains the Executive Director of the Edmonton Poetry Festival. An active and award-winning poet, she holds the titles of 2019 Canadian Individual Slam Champion and Edmonton Slam Champion.
What rhymes with titles? It doesn’t matter, because the snap is only partially about the words. It’s about performance and competition. In addition, it helps young people to get interested in writing and literature.