An Open Letter to Bill Whatcott

An Open Letter to Bill Whatcott.

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Slam Poetry and Pop Lyrics

Lesson Plan – Carol Fisher

Period 5: 2:17 PM – 3:20 PM (63 minutes)

Subject: EAL 9

Topic: Using Slam Poetry to Build Confidence

Content: Bacon Slam, What is it?, Roar, Confidence in class, Beasty Boyz, Lyric Slam

Teaching Strategy:

–          I will model

–          Share my own weakness

–          Lead the games

Outcomes:

Students will appear more confident when reading out loud.

Indicators:

–          SWBAT: Allow themselves to get silly

–          SWBAT: Slam lyrics

–          SWBAT: Present to the class

Prerequisite: Attempted to talk in front of a class

Lesson Preparation:

–          Projector

–          Sound

–          Handout

–          Roar Lyrics

Evaluation/Assessment:

Set: Students will understand what slam poetry is and how it can be helpful.

Development: Students will see the positive in reading out loud in class. Students will participate in Beasty Boyz.

Closure: Students will try to slam their lyrics.

Presentation:

Set: (estimated time 10/30 minutes) (10)

–          Open with:

o   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSVO5VloDlc

–          What is slam poetry?

o   It is competitive performance poetry

o   Performance for the audience

o   The best slam poets:

  • Stage Presence
  • Timing
  • Tone
  • Body Language
  • Emoting
  • Metaphor
  • Insight
  • Wit

–          Why is slam helpful?

o   Gives voice

o   Address controversial topics

o   Promotes confidence

o   Fun

o   Community

–          Ms. Fisher will slam the lyrics to Roar – Kay Perry

I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
So I sat quietly, agreed politely
I guess that I forgot I had a choice
I let you push me past the breaking point
I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything

You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Get ready ’cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar

Now I’m floating like a butterfly
Stinging like a bee I earned my stripes
I went from zero, to my own hero

You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Get ready ’cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar

Development: (estimated time 20/30 minutes) (10)

–          How to read confidently in class (wikihow)

1. Always be prepared to read in every class; no matter what the subject area is.

2. Get over any anxiety

– Speak to your best friend

– Time your breathing

– Act like you are doing this for a future job

3. When the teacher calls, take a deep breath and read

4. Think comforting thoughts

– One it is over, it is done

5. Start Reading

– If you don’t feel confident, just pretend you are

6. Increase Reading Ability

– Speak Loudly

– Speak Clearly

– Re-say words you mispronounce

– Look at the audience

– Speak Slowly

– Use Emotion

–          Ask students to find some song lyrics

–          If time permits:

o   Beastie Boys

  • The group begins by chanting a monosyllabic word in unison and a repeatable beat. Initiator says a line that fits within the repeatable beat. The group again recites the monosyllabic chant. The next person in circle says a line that completes a rhyme and ideally is incredibly obvious so that the rest of the group can join in vocally and complete the rhyme. The person who completed the rhyme now becomes the initiator and the process continuesEx:

Group: Na nana na na nanana na

A: I went back home and hung up my hat

Group: Na nana na na nanana na
B: Then I hugged Fluffy my fluffy pet (everyone) CAT

Closure:  (estimated time 30/30 minutes) (10)

–          Have them stand in a circle and practice using their song lyrics

Adaptive Dimensions:

–          Song lyrics

–          Hand out

–          Group

Cupcakes and Tears

Weeks with presentations are relaxing, sort of. I planned to have my last two days of teaching as presentation days for my grade ten class and work periods for my grade nine class. It has been lovely not having to concoct a lesson plan for each of these days. However, I didn’t plan my marking very well. I’ve been sitting at my desk for hours at a time each night this week trying to grade papers. I’ve had to start wearing my glasses again to combat the hours of reading.

This week was my big unit for my EAL classroom. On Monday I worked on building confidence when you have to read out loud in a classroom. We worked on slamming some lyrics to popular songs and playing a few vocal drama games. The kids really opened up during this lesson and comfortably talked in front of each other. I had one boy slam the lyrics to ‘Let it Go’ from the Frozen soundtrack and got the class incredibly energetic. I asked them if they would all like to sing that sound. My slam poetry successfully ended with seven boys and five girls belting out ‘Let it Go’ together. Honestly, I left class that evening with an ear-to-ear grin. It was amazing to see the confidence flowing around the room.

My presentations didn’t work out very well. I wanted to get through fifteen on my first day, but we only did eleven. In a class of thirty-two, that cannot happen. Because my time management was so poor, I’m going to have to come in on Monday between my own classes to finish off the presentations. I should have spent more time going through my expectations of a three to four minutes storytelling and using one sheet of notes. Most of my kids just read right from the papers. However, one of my EAL students told us her story in a campfire style. I was proud of her. She displayed great confidence and copious amounts of enthusiasm.

In the future, I will take ten minutes out of my class time to go through expectations that I have for assignments. I have learned that even if you give a rubric, students will not read it. My rubrics were specific, but the students didn’t even spend a minute on it. Another thing I will change is just getting started right away. We were all sitting in a circle for our presentations and the students took a long time to get settled.

I have had an amazing three weeks at my school. It is going to be difficult to leave my kids. There is a part of me that just wants to rip them away from my co-op and hoard them all to myself. I can already feel myself getting emotional this morning and I am trying to think of ways to keep myself together. I’ve baked up a storm for my young ones, so hopefully they will remember the horror of Ms. Fisher.