I spent about three hours on twitter today annoying people into sharing their favourite poems and poems for teenagers. Why? Well, I’ve put my hand up to write a unit of work for Year 10 on poetry. I’m happy to do it because for the last three years I’ve had great success with a poetry project that was originally based on the ideas of Dean Groom. It was my first ever proper time using project-learning with my classes … you can read about it here. The Cyborg Poetry project morphed into the very popular Emo Project. You can read about that project here.
For this unit of work I’ll be combining both projects. The Cyborg mini-project goes for 2 weeks and will be like an extended hook for the longer project to follow. I’ve modified the longer project to allow for greater teacher/student choice. Why? Because the unit of work needs to be ‘taught’ by five different teachers. Everyone has their own strengths and interests, so I figure I’ll make it as open as possible. I’ve come up with four potential driving questions which have slightly different content connected to them. I have also given a bit of freedom when it comes to the product and the presentation. Let’s face it, some teachers are going to feel more confident just getting their students to write an essay to be submitted to the teacher. That’s fine. I’m not into forcing adult humans into doing something they don’t want to do. On the other hand, I want to give them the option to try something new if they feel confident to take a risk. So here’s the project outlines that I’ve created for the FOUR options. I’ll be doing the ‘PUNKs and EMOs’ option.
I’ve also compiled a list of 26 poems suitable for the students to engage with as part of these projects – thanks to my Twitter mates for their suggestions! The poems are basically those that can be loosely classified under the categories of ‘emo poetry’ (focusing on things like loss, love and the human condition) or ‘punk poetry’ (focusing on things like injustice, prejudice and a dissatisfaction with society). I’ll let you decide which poems fit in which category, haha, enjoy!
– For the Fire
– Land’s End
Carol Ann Duffy: