Magazine article Arts & Activities

Poetry & Song Lyrics

Magazine article Arts & Activities

Poetry & Song Lyrics

Article excerpt

In last month's article, I talked about the importance of the art of storytelling. I believe that once our students realize how important it is to create art that has a story behind it, they are hungry for more!

A few years ago, I designed a lesson around poetry and song lyrics to springboard off of their storytelling unit. Not only is this a great lesson in terms of student's final works, it's one of their absolute favorites because kids love songs! And when they realize songs are actually a form of poetry, they're hooked! (And not to mention your language-arts teachers will become your greatest allies!)

I BEGIN THIS LESSON by playing a song for my students. As they're listening to it, I have them quickly sketch in their journals any imagery that might come to mind as they hear the words of the song. The initial images are always simple contour sketches but often become the premise for something spectacular.

We have a discussion about the imagery they created and how each student has a unique view of the words they selected to sketch. These advanced art conversations are an important and rich part of the AP curriculum in that students must be deep thinkers in order to justify their final portfolios. I think the more they discuss their art-thinking, the stronger their works become.

They are then charged with finding a song or a poem that has personal meaning to them. This doesn't take long because students usually have their favorite play list right there with them. I have found it interesting, though, to see them begin to write down the words and then think about them through a new lens. …

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