Teaching Analogies: Overview, Ideas & Resources

 

What is an analogy?

An analogy is a comparison that shows a relationship between words or ideas.

What kinds of relationships are common in analogies?

(**I recommend working with them to discover relationships rather than giving them this list, so they get in the habit of thinking about the relationships between the word pairs. See the “How”)

Here are some common types of relationships between word pairs :

  • Synonyms
  • Antonyms
  • Part/Whole & Whole/Part
  • Degree of Intensity (increasing or decreasing)
  • Cause/Effect & Effect/Cause; ex: practice : improve; flood : rain 
  • Definition
  • Lack of – one word describes the absence of another; ex: disheartened : hope
  • Agent & Action – one is the doer, one is the action; ex: brain : thinking; professor : teach
  • Function – describes the purpose or function of something; ex: mneumonic : memory;  saw : cut
  • Action & Significance – the action and the significance or purpose of it: ex: curtsy : reverence
  • Manner – describes the manner, way, or style by which an action is accomplished; ex: prattle : speak
  • Category/Subcategory – ex: punctuation : grammar
  • Object/Classification – Item/Category – Category/Exampleex: dog : Golden Retriever
  • Pertaining to – one word refers to the category or class the other belongs to; ex: didactic : teach
  • Symbol & What it Stands For/Representsex: heart : love; raven : lost love
  • Component & Product/Material & End-Product – ex: flour : cake; lumber : house
  • Thing & Characteristic – ex: elephant : enormous 

compiled from Greenwich Schools, TeachThought, Haynes Academy, & Teacher Vision

Why are we studying, practicing, and using analogies?

  • Word relationships can help students learn new words.
  • Analyzing the relationships between words is one way to deepen understanding of vocabulary.
  • Understanding and evaluating word relationships requires students to engage in higher-level thinking.
  • Studying word relationships in pairs provides students with a framework for making comparisons between words, ideas, and meaning.
  • The open format of analogies allows for differentiation options that include the difficulty of the words we use (that aren’t vocabulary words) and even the use of visuals for different learners/levels.

And, of course, it helps us to meet NJSLS.L5: Demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meanings.

 

How can we solve analogies?

Englishforeveryone.org outlines a 3 step process for the “How,” which is echoed in many other resources as well:

  • Step 1: Determine the relationship & develop a short, clear “bridge” sentence.
    • EX: for shovel : digA shovel is used to dig.
  • Step 2: Use the bridge with each answer choice and evaluate which maintains the same relationship/fits best.
  • Step 3: Adjust/strengthen/specify the bridge sentence as needed

I also like the way TeachThought explains the process:

  • Identify – Identify characteristics of the relationship(s)
  • Analyze – Analyze those relationships/characteristics and come up with the clearest/best description of the relationship (this is where they need to complete a sentence that describes the relationship.).
  • Transfer – Transfer the relationship from the first half of the analogy to the second
  • Evaluate  – How well does the relationship transfer to the other half? Do I need to adjust?

Things to remember (from greenwichschools.org)

  • Parts of Speech: If the words in the first pair express a “noun : adjective,” or “verb : noun,” or adjective : adjective” relationship (for instance), the second pair should show the same relationship between parts of speech.
  • Word Order: If the first pair expresses a “tool user : tool” relationship (for instance), the second pair must express the same relationship in the same order.
  • Exactness:  Sometimes two or more of the given choices would make fairly good sense in the blank. When this happens, you should choose the word or pair of words, which most exactly suits the relationship you are expressing.

Introducing Analogies in the Classroom

Check out these Anchor Charts from Deb at Crafting Connections, which could be a great introductory activity and resource you can create for your classroom. She’s an upper-elementary blogger, but the idea is good and can easily be adapted for our needs.

Chart 1 is before class; chart 2: working together to complete; chart 3: classifying the relationship.

This is a great example of how we can introduce the concept of analogies.  I would, however, reverse the order of 2 & 3, though, so we’re identifying the relationship and then applying that relationship to fill in the blank.  

Need big Post-It paper? Let me know!


Using Analogies as Teaching Tools  & Vocabulary Practice

Students can use analogies to:

  • predict new word meanings based on the relationship (complete analogies)
    • cursory : meticulous :: feasible : impossible
    • dark clouds : ominous :: cassette players : obsolete
  • build connections between words they’re learning to deepen understanding and build contextual understanding of new vocabulary (single or double-blank analogies)
  • demonstrate depth of word knowledge & self-assess

Analogy practice can be:

  • Warm-up or closure activities
  • Part of your vocabulary introduction
  • Part of the weekly vocabulary activities (homework or classwork)
  • Review (see this Analogy Bingo idea we could adapt for our needs)

Remember: How much you give students in any analogy problem is up to you and will yield different results.  We could give them a single pair to start and have them identify the relationship; we could give them one pair or words and have them develop the next pair; we could give them the whole analogy and have them predict word meaning; or we could leave a single blank for them to fill in.

Additional Resources: 


Setting a Routine of Building Relationships & Making Connections

While analogies are great for introducing, learning, and reinforcing vocabulary, you can set a routine of relationship/connection building in all aspects of instruction.

These could be warm-ups, closures, etc. that act as quick formative assessments for their depth of understanding while also getting them thinking about the relationships between the things they’re learning.

Here are some examples:

  • parenthetical citation : works cited ::  ____________ : ____________
  • thesis statement : essay :: ____________ : ____________
  • Lady Macbeth : gender norms :: ____________ : ____________
  • paragraph : prose :: ____________ :  poetry
  • period : stop :: ____________ : pause
  • counterclaim : claim :: ____________ : ____________
  • evidence : reasons :: ____________ : ____________
  • happy : ecstatic :: sad : ____________ (to teach nuances in tone)
  • pre-writing : writing process :: ____________ : ____________
  • mockingbird : innocence :: ____________ : ____________
  • racism : prejudice :: ____________ : ____________
  • rags to riches : American Dream :: ____________ : ____________
  • journal : ____________ :: editorial : ____________

If you want to continue the relationship-building that deepens thinking in ways beyond vocabulary, check out this New York Times, Learning Network resource on analogies in writing: Skills Practice: Understanding and Making Analogies 

 


Resources I used in compiling this post: 

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Building Autonomy, Maximizing Class Time: Writing Workshop in Stations

I am in LOVE with this idea from Shelby Scoffield at Edutopia: Creating a Writer’s Workshop in a Secondary Classroom, published just yesterday.

In the article, she shares the station rotation model that she uses with her AP and Honors English students to elevate Writing Workshop to the secondary level.  She provides examples of stations (which you can see below) and descriptions of them.

edutopia-scoffield-writersworkshopsecondaryclassrm

In the comments section, she clarifies what she does as the teacher and facilitator of the Writing Workshop stations:

  • Beginning of class: spend a few minutes at each station:
    • explain the assignment
    • provide any important information they’ll need
    • answer any initial questions they have
  • During the rest of class: settle into the teacher-led table, where you’ll conduct a more in-depth lesson on a more difficult skill before those students apply that to their papers.
  • Once the in-depth lesson is complete (I would assume):
    • constantly make rounds and check in to eliminate the problem of students always needing your attention
    • Be sure to spend extra time at the tables where students are tackling specific skills.

At every station, students are learning and the applying what they learn to their writing. It still utilizes the basic elements of Writing Workshop with which we are familiar, just applies those in a different format.

Scoffield has not provided any specific information about rotation or how often they switch (these are also decisions we can make for our students and the management of our classrooms.).

Scoffield  has designed this for her AP & Honor students.  However, I think this is applicable and easily modifiable for all levels of students.  Some classes might just need more structure ahead of time and may need more practice in the model and feedback from their performance in Writing Workshop to gain the full benefits of it.  Still, I think it’s worth the effort because I think this Writing Workshop model could solve one of our biggest problems: classroom time.  And another: student autonomy.  Of course, we have to be smart and strategic about the station set-up so students are still getting what they need (and hopefully even more) from the process.

Here are my initial thoughts after reading the article:

Potential Benefits:

  • students can choose skills they need to work on, instead of a one-size-fits-all model of mini-lessons and mentor texts
  • students are in charge of their own learning and development in that they tell teachers what skills they need to work on or would like to work on
  • the onus is on the students – they choose the skill and then they have to do the work of learning at that station and then applying what they’ve learned
  • student choice will require self-awareness of their writing skills and awareness of what skills make writing great (and would work nicely with the portfolio process that the 12th grade teachers have implemented at TC)
  • 10-day Writing Workshop Units could be pared down to 4-5 days of stations
  • student-centered learning & differentiated instruction
  • better student products, less grading frustration

Possible Hiccups:

  • initial set-up, planning, and facilitation may be time-consuming, but if we work together and share materials for certain skills, that will be alleviated somewhat over time
  • classroom-management in more difficult classes (there is the possibility here to have me co-facilitate with you so that there is another person in the room to manage the process.)
  • physical space in the classroom – do we have enough? What other spaces could we use for an activity like this?

Shelby Scoffield is on Twitter, though (@sscoffield1), so maybe we can tweet our questions her way for clarification and tips!  You can also join the conversation below the article on Edutopia.

If you have additional ideas for stations (this somewhat depends on what students tell you they want to work on) or would like to try this in your classroom, let me know and I’d be happy to help you plan and facilitate them! You know how to find me. 🙂

#TBT Flashback to Iconic Photographs of the 21st Century

This throw-back-Thursday post is bringing back a resource that Karyn found, “These 75 Iconic Photos Will Define The 21st Century So Far. Everyone Needs To See This.”

A year later, I might ask students to evaluate the impact of these images and choose one event from the last year & a corresponding photo to add to the gallery – explaining why they added it (aka why the event/image is significant).  You’d hit some research standards here, including writing standard 7 (short as well as sustained research projects) as well as reading standard 1 (textual evidence).  This could be good practice for skills they’ll need for the fast-approaching research paper (more slowly approaching for 10th & 12th grade), such as:

  • using advanced searches
  • determining the reliability of sources
  • citing textual evidence
  • creating a works cited & parenthetical citations
  • differentiating between essential and non-essential (in selecting the image they want to add to the list)

Here’s the link to the previous post with the original ideas for how to use these photos in the classroom.

tbt photos

#TechTuesdays; Ted-Ed & Three Interpretations of Walt Whitman

Ted-Ed is an off-shoot of TED.com, which gathers (from its own conventions-of-sorts) talks from experts in their field that are often ground-breaking, inspiring, terrifying, eye-opening, etc.

Basically, Ted-Ed is a resource where teachers or students (or anyone) could check out short videos that are paired with multiple choice and open-ended questions, “dig deeper” resources to extend the discussion, and guided/open discussion forums about the lesson.  They can be lessons students navigate on their own (flipped-classroom-style), in computer labs with teacher facilitation or in pairs/small groups, or as a whole class in the classroom.  They could also inspire performance assessment ideas and options moving forward.

Some of these lessons are organized in series.  The one I’m sharing today are from the “Reading Between the Lines” series.

noiseless spider

  • “A Poetic Experiment: Walt Whitman, Interpreted by Three Animators” by Justin Moore
    • Analysis & Evaluation: This Ted-Ed lesson presents three different readings of “The Noiseless Patient Spider” paired with three different animations.   I like this Ted-Ed lesson for so many reasons.  It begs for a comparison/contrast and a discussion about perspective and impact of author’s choices. For discussions and/or assignments of this sort, students could hit RL.9-10.5 & RL.11-12.5 (analyze author’s choices and how they create effects) and/or RL.9-10.7 & RL.11-12.7 (analyze the representation of a subject or key scene in two different artistic mediums or multiple interpretations).  If you simply want to use these three interpretations and the repetition of it to help students understand the poem (the open-ended questions work to this end), then students could hit RL.9-10.2 (determine a theme/central idea and analyze its development). If you want them analyzing the spoken versions separately (or in addition to an animation-interpretation analysis), you could hit the beginning of SL.9-10.3 (evaluate a speaker’s point of view).
    • Performance Assessment Idea: I love (LOVE!) the potential this type of video has for our performance assessments that we can assign in class (so this one could become a model and practice).  Maybe students, in small groups, create a complete interpretation that represent both in voice (how will they read/perform the poem) and in original drawing/art (I would select how many drawings you would want for the assignment).  You could assign perspectives or just allow students to approach it from their own angle (this, I would think, would depend on the level of your students and how much practice/confidence they have in developing their own interpretations.).  While turning it into a video might be hard for some groups (MovieMaker or iMovie would work), completing a Prezi or Powerpoint with voice-over or with the reading/performance of the poem in class would also work.  If students have been analyzing and interpreting poetry and/or text all marking period long, this would make a nice cumulative assignment to assess their interpretation skills (RL.9-12.1 – textual evidence & RL.9-12.2 central ideas) and possibly even their presentation skills (SL.9-12.4-6).
      • What the audience/listeners do during the presentations could also be part of the overall assessment grade.  If we have them complete an analysis of author’s choices (structure) and evaluate those choices’ impacts, students would hit RL.9-12.5 (the “authors” they are evaluating and analyzing would be their other classmates’ projects).
      • To hit the writing requirement (W.9-12.4produce clear and coherent writing appropriate to task/purpose/audience) of the performance assessment rubric, groups could turn in a one-page explanation of their interpretation and how their animations/reading reveal that interpretation. I think your evaluation of how their interpretation is represented (task & purpose) could also factor into this element of the rubric.
      • W.9-12.8 (gather relevant information from multiple sources . . . ) is also at play in performance assessments since they should be researched-based.  This might be a stretch for an assignment of this sort, but quoting the original poem directly and citing the lines directly in the one-page explanation and specifically referencing /quoting other groups projects might help to meet it.  They could also look for some animation-interpretations of poetry as reference-points and compile these in an annotated bibliography they submit.
  • I’m sure there are many more options for this kind of assignment as a performance assessment as well as more options for using this TedEd lesson – but this is the magic of TedEd!

Please note that I’ve only briefly explained the standards listed.  Before developing an assignment that hits these standards, I would review them in more detail.  And remember that these standards are the end-goals and require some interpretation.  We can hit portions of these standards now in order to prepare them to meet them more fully in future assignments.

9-10 standards mentioned in this post:

Reading Literature

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.1
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.5
Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.7
Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment (e.g., Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts” and Breughel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus).

Writing

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1-3 above.)

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.8
Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.

Speaking & Listening

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.3
Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, identifying any fallacious reasoning or exaggerated or distorted evidence.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.4
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.5
Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.6
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grades 9-10 Language standards 1 and 3 here for specific expectations.)

11-12 standards mentioned in this post:

Reading Literature

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.1
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.2
Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.5
Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.7
Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source text. (Include at least one play by Shakespeare and one play by an American dramatist.)

Writing

(4 is the same as the 9-10 standard)

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.8
Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the strengths and limitations of each source in terms of the task, purpose, and audience; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and overreliance on any one source and following a standard format for citation.

Speaking/Listening

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.3
Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.

(4-6 are the same as the 9-10 standards)

TED Ed – Lessons Created & Curated

What I’m about to tell you about is a work of genius and a gold mine.  It can prepare kids to read, watch, and answer questions online (PARCC), it will engage them in higher-level thinking, it allows them choice in what they discover, and it invites them into a discussion with other students beyond their classroom.  It is incredible.  I’m excited.  You are warned.  🙂

So. . . I may be late to the TED-Ed game.  I’ve been familiar with TED Talks for a few years now, but this new(ish) TED-Ed resource will blow your mind.

What is TedEd?

from the website: TED-Ed is a free educational website for teachers and learners. We are a global and interdisciplinary initiative with a commitment to creating lessons worth sharing. Our approach to education is an extension of TED’s mission of spreading great ideas.

Within the growing TED-Ed video library, you will find carefully curated educational videos, many of which represent collaborations between talented educators and animators nominated through the TED-Ed platform. This platform also allows users to take any useful educational video, not just TED’s, and easily create a customized lesson around the video. Users can distribute the lessons, publicly or privately, and track their impact on the world, a class, or an individual student.

Check out the “About” tab to know more about how lessons are created and how teachers can customize lessons.

TED Ed

Under the lessons tab, you can filter by category (check out that list – there’s even “Literature and Language”!), content, student (you can choose high school so things are the level you want), or duration.  It’s quite user friendly.

So browsing lessons is the first great thing about TEDEd (some designed around TED talks we know and love).  They’re done in such a way that you could take students to a computer lab with headphones (they can bring them . . . they all have them) to watch, answer questions, and explore the resources in the “Dig Deeper” tab OR they could be done in home.  Students could choose which they want to learn more about (something like this might work great if you want to work on inquiry-based learning or #geniushour. . . more about that soon).

So a lesson would look something like this:

TED Ed screenshot 2

As you move through the tabs on the right, something new appears on the left.

The “Think” tab includes multiple choice and open-ended questions that usually check that students watched the video but also extend their thinking:

TED Ed screenshot 3

Each lesson was created by someone else, so the nature and number of the questions will vary.  Notice on the right-hand side that you can also choose to “customize” this lesson.  That’s pretty rad.

Can you tell I’m excited yet? It’s not even over.  Check out the “Dig Deeper” and “Discuss” tabs:

TED Ed screenshot 4

The “Dig Deeper” tab provides additional resources with links.  This would be great if the TED talk inspires a student to learn more or start an inquiry-based project.  In fact, couldn’t the product of their inquiry-based project BE a TED-Ed lesson? (featuring them in the video?! or simply created/curated by them . . . at least in this format, if not published on TEDEd . . . not sure how that works yet)

The “Discuss” tab allows students to respond to a prompt that other students already have, so they’re writing for and responding to a global community (hello CCSS technology standards!)

TED Ed screenshot 5

You can change or modify lessons or create your own based on a TED Talk!  Students could complete something you designed or go and explore something another educator/animator did.  This engages students in TED Talks in a way that simply watching it couldn’t.  And the options for TEDEd-inspired performance assessments and projects after a student-directed research assignment are exciting!

This is only the tip of the TEDEd iceberg.  Check out the site, including the “Series” and “Community” tabs. You can also subscribe to the TEDEd Newsletter here.  (I recommend you use your personal email address, as the confirmation email may never come through our Groupwise.)

I actually thinking using these as part of a student-directed research project might be just the solution for PARCC testing disturbances.  It would mean smartphone use and maybe some after school and at home work for internet access though.  But of course, you can use them anytime!

As always, if you want to brainstorm other ways to bring this to your classroom and./or want to flesh out an idea presented here, don’t hesitate to let me know.  I would love to collaborate with TedEd!

The Art of Asking Questions

Looking for your students to ask better questions, whether in their annotations, Cornell Notes,  class discussion, or Socratic Seminar?

Here’s a resource Bonnie shared,  “The Art of Asking Questions” by Maryellen Weimer from Faculty Focus.

It’s a resource on getting students to ask better questions and provides more detail on the following tips/strategies:

  • prepare questions
  • play with the questions
  • preserve good questions
  • ask questions  you don’t know the answer to
  • ask questions  you can answer
  • don’t ask open ended questions when you know what you’re looking for

Check it out!

Iconic Photographs Defining the Century

Hey all!

Karyn shared this great resource: These 75 Iconic Photos Will Define The 21st Century So Far. Everyone Needs To See This.

There are photographs here that would:

  • be great idea-inspirers or quick-writes or narrative writing practice.
  • make incredible Socratic Seminars.
  • work great paired with text to get students practicing with paired texts.
  • be practice with analyzing visual text.
  • be incredible conversation-starters.
  • serve as informational text on current-ish events (events of the last 14 years).
  • (the possibilities seem endless)

Students could even gather photographs that define their last 14 years in preparation for autobiographical narrative (if that’s their narrative assignment for mp 1) or a photograph that has happened since these to add or a photograph or two or three they would argue deserve to be in the list.

Here’s a preview:

U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman HM1 Richard Barnett, assigned to the 1st Marine Division, holds a child after she was separated from her family during a firefight [2003]

U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman HM1 Richard Barnett, assigned to the 1st Marine Division, holds a child after she was separated from her family during a firefight [2003]

An indigenous woman holds her child while trying to resist the advance of Amazonas state policemen in Manaus who have been sent to evict natives. [2008]

An indigenous woman holds her child while trying to resist the advance of Amazonas state policemen in Manaus who have been sent to evict natives. [2008]

Three young women from the New York Fashion Week pose next to a homeless man. [2012]

Three young women from the New York Fashion Week pose next to a homeless man. [2012]

Thanks to Karyn for sharing this!

High-Interest Informational Text

The New York Times’ Common-Core-friendly blog, The Learning Network, collects articles about teens from the last four weeks on the first Friday of each month.

Here’s Teenagers in the Times – May 2014

If you’re looking for high-interest nonfiction, especially as the year closes out, this might be the place to look!   Note that they do this the first Friday of every month, so keep checking back!

Slacker Poster, Time for Poetry Catch-Up, NPM Days 17-25

As I’m sure you’ve noticed (or not . . .visitor numbers are low :)), I neglected NPM postings during Spring Break.

First, in honor of a belated birthday, that of Billy Shakes:

Sonnet 55

Not marble nor the gilded monuments
Of princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone, besmear’d with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword nor war’s quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.
‘Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room,
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
So, till the judgment that yourself arise,
You live in this, and dwell in lovers’ eyes.

And now . . . let’s play catch-up:

1. From the Poetry Foundation (and Target, apparently), a Teacher’s Poetry Guide for Black History Month.  It deals in three main subjects: Love and Compassion, Heritage and History, and On Being Black.  It includes poems and activities for students: Poetry Foundation Black History Month.

You could use this as it is or extend the subjects out to other poems and poets – other poets writing about identity, heritage, and compassion.

2. Hit some global issues with an article by the New York Times, “Why Afghan Women Risk Death to Write Poetry” or this longer look at Afghan Women’s Poetry in this poetry foundation article (with poems).

3. Have students explore annotated poetry (click yellow text to see pop-up annotations) or annotate poetry themselves at Rap Genius’s poetry genius.

4. Check out the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Lesson Plans that combine music with the social, literary, and political going-ons of its time.  Selections include Langston Hughes and the Blues, Popular Music and the Civil Rights Movement, Music and Protest, Vietnam War, Cold War, etc . . .  (remember – music as poetry totally works!),   This is one of my favorite resources.

5. A video from EduTopia about Empowering Authentic Voice through Spoken Word Poetry  that looks at one student working with YouthSpeaks and learning how to use her life as her primary text.  Great to open a discussion about poetry, why we write it and perform it and how we find ideas for our poems.  Would work as an introduction to spoken word poetry or poetry in general.

6. YouthSpeaks’s Brave New Voices (featured on HBO) includes videos (watch here) of students’ performances at the finals.  It is nice for students to see what other teens are writing about and how they are performing.

7. The National Writing Project’s long list of resources (many are articles, but the ideas may spark something!) for Teaching, Reading, and Writing Poetry.