Epic Rap Battles: Year 9 having fun with poetry

A few weeks ago I posted the outline of our current Year 9 poetry project. It is not the second last week of this project … it’s a pretty long one but the students in all classes are LOVING it! I think this is the first time that multiple English classes have worked on an actual project-learning project at our school. It’s been a really weird experience for me (because I’m used to being the ‘lone nut’) but it’s been really great for the students – they really enjoy being able to talk to their friends in other classes about the project and seeing what they’re creating.

Here is the project outline if you missed it:

We spent the first couple of weeks looking closely at some performance poems and trying to discover the features specific to this type of poetry (they watched Omar Musa, Rik Mayall and Maya Angelou) and then moved on the performing a poem of their choice as a team. The last two weeks has been have rap battles! We spent a lesson watching some Epic Rap Battles of History and as a class identified what the features where of that style of poetry. In teams, students planned, drafted and polished their own epic rap battle in-character. They chose really funny characters to battle: Pete Griffin vs Homer Simpson, Student vs Teacher, Batman vs Superman, Edward Cullen vs Dracula, Cat vs Dog, Bryan & Steve vs Roger and Clyde and The Beatles vs One Direction. Students presented their battles to the class at out outdoor amphitheatre and their peers have to choose ‘who won’ the battle. I videoed their performances (and their team poetry performance earlier in the project) as they will be using this as evidence for their own self assessment. The project leads up to a Poetry Performance Evening and the teams need to select which performance they prefer to perform for family and friends.

I created a rubric for the rap battle that I am happy for others to use and let me know what they like or don’t like etc. I’ll be watching the videoed battles and using the rubric to give students their medals and missions for the next performance.

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13 thoughts on “Epic Rap Battles: Year 9 having fun with poetry

  1. Pingback: Epic Rap Battles: Year 9 having fun with poetry | Teaching and Learning in English at SSC | Scoop.it

  2. I’ve passed this on to a few backward hat-wearing types whose idea of popular culture goes beyond 1982. Dang those young varmints and their hop chop music. Where’s my old copy of ‘Poems of Spirit and Adventure’? Off to practice my dramatic reading!

    Just kidding – this is fabulous.Mind you, Alfred, Lord Tennyson vs TS Eliot…

  3. Pingback: Week 10 Reflection: “Epic Rap Battles: Year 9 having fun with poetry” « Cherie Nelson

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  8. Bianca – I would SOOOO love you to teach my daughters (just showed my year 10 girl this.) It’s enough to make one relocate interstate!! Thanks for your continued inspiring and generous blogging. I often share your work with teachers. :)

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