So, in 8th grade Language Arts, we are talking about figurative language and how the graphical elements and word choice in poetry creates meaning and how we can use those elements to infer and draw conclusion blah, blah, blah. . . . .BLAH. I have a FEW teenagers who are interested in the mechanics of poetry, but most of them are flying under the radar to avoid persecution by their peers.
Not only that, but my kids just got back from a week of vacation and weren’t buyin’ it. I HAD to CONNECT. SO, I showed them THIS little video (which you are welcome to watch should you so choose) just to get them INTERESTED. Who, exactly, can resist the theme song to “The Fresh Prince of Bellaire?” Seriously. The video uses that to explain narrative poetry/ballad. Then it uses other popular songs or videos to go over other types of poetry. We didn’t really spend much time on sonnet, but I DID tell them that it was a good introduction to what they will see very soon in high school.
Anyway. . .this morning, I had a BRAINSTORM (along with finding the video) while brushing my teeth and being late for school. I decided to do “Chopped: Poetry.” Have you ever seen “Chopped?” It’s a Food Network show where four chefs compete for $10,000. There are judges and time limits but the clincher is that there are “secret” ingredients in a basket that the chefs MUST use in their dish preparation. Some of the challenges have included the following basket ingredients. . .
Dessert: prunes, animal crackers, cream cheese Appetizer: watermelon, canned sardines, pepper jack cheese, zucchini Entrée: blackstrap molasses, red snapper, parsley root, dried cranberries
Tomorrow, my kids will get a “basket” (an envelope. . .) with their “secret ingredients” in it. They HAVE to use these “ingredients” to create their poem.
Type: Acrostic Topic: Music Figurative Language: Onomatopoiea & Metaphor
Today while showing them the different forms (they had to take notes), I was explaining haiku. This was my haiku on teens.
Teenagers are like, “Awesome, ratchet, hastag, Bruh!” They own the language.
My second period suggested I change it a little to this:
Teenagers be like, “Awesome, ratchet, or nah, Bruh!” They own they language.
I must admit to the second version being nails on a chalk board, but at least they PARTICIPATED. We’ll see. . .
There are five types of poetry, six different topics, and ten different types of figurative language that I mixed up. This will either be a moment of fist-pumping “YES!” or a crash and burn of “OH, THE HUMANITY!!!” Maybe even both. . .in the same class period. I can pretty much guarantee both in 2nd period for sure.