Poetry takes many forms. It ranges from a three lined haiku to a Shakespearean sonnet to a novel in verse. Over a student's education, they will be exposed to all types of poetry, and will compose quite a bit of it themselves.

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

and other poems

Grades 6-8

  • This unit begins with the novel in verse by Kwame Alexander. After, we'll analyze epic poetry from Walt Whitman, Alfred Noyes "The Highwayman", and make sense of the nonsensical "Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll.

  • Students will create a portfolio of their own poetry in various forms.

    • Acrostic, concrete, couplets, portmanteaus, and more.​​


Musical Poetry

Grades 6-12

  • Songs are poems set to music. Students will analyze songs for theme, figurative language, and syntax. They will break down the song into various parts to study it as literature.

  • Students will compare the theme of songs with the theme of a similar poem to show how powerful music can be to spread a message.

    • Students will​ look specifically at the impact Langston Hughes had on Harlem with his poetry, and the impact Tupac had on the Black community with his Rap.

  • Students will study the music of Bob Dylan, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, and then debate whether or not songwriting  should be eligible for the Nobel Prize.​

  • Students analyze an entire album of their choice and also create a soundtrack for their life.​


The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Grades 11-12

  • The Harlem Renaissance was a blossoming of Black culture with music, art, and poetry that inspired and enriched. Names like Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Josephine Baker rose out of Harlem.

    • Students will learn about the poets, musicians, and artists of this time period, and the lasting effect they had on culture.

  • The Poet X looks at the life of a teenage girl currently living in Harlem who feels unheard. She pours her feelings into her journal. When she starts getting into trouble at school, she's forced to join the Slam Poetry Club, where she learns about the great poets of Harlem who came before her and she finds her voice.

    • Students ​will study, practice, and try their hand at writing their own slam poetry.


You've created a Poetry Monster!

Dad of a 7th Grader