The simplicity of the site invites many applications. An entire school community may want to create a ritual of reading poems daily, perhaps sharing them after the announcements. Within the classroom, a teacher might begin the year selecting a daily poem and soliciting volunteers to read aloud, modeling expectations of the ritual throughout the year and moving toward an environment where students begin to take ownership of the process.
For further application, have your students focus on research and comprehension. For example, with a poem assigned in advance, students -- either working independently or collaboratively -- could research a poet’s life, prepare discussion prompts, and pull specific vocabulary to highlight. Students could present findings and critical questions to the class, including a reading. Such an assignment could extend the work with these poems beyond the Common Core Speaking and Listening Standards, helping students interact with the language in more complex and meaningful ways.Continue reading Show less
Poetry 180: A Poem a Day for American High Schools says it all. Created during his tenure as U.S. Poet Laureate, this is Billy Collins’ list of 180 poems that invite being read aloud. Chosen specifically with teens in mind, the poems touch on engaging subjects such as relationships, struggles with siblings and parents, love and loyalty, death and change.
The site's homepage presents Collins’ reasoning behind the collection and then offers five links: 1) the list of poems, 2) the Library of Congress’ Poetry and Literature Center, 3) suggestions on how to use the list, 4) permissions for the poems, and 5) an explanation on how to best read poems aloud (there’s a downloadable audio version of this guide as well). As a longtime advocate for experiencing rather than analyzing poetry, Collins has placed the focus of the site on the list. Simply choose a poem, and you’re ready to read.Continue reading Show less
Poetry 180's greatest strength is also its biggest weakness: It’s a list of poems -- no more, no less. Keeping this in mind, you'll find a collection of poems that teens will love to listen to. The range in language, imagery, form, and subject matter may even win over reluctant students who might think that poetry is beyond their grasp. The ritual of reading aloud every day can enhance a sense of classroom community.
With the poems numbered, you could easily use Poem #1 -- Collins’ “Introduction to Poetry” -- on the first day of school and proceed from there. If, however, you’re seeking poems with ready-made discussion prompts, comprehension questions, or literary devices already highlighted, you won't find them here. It should also be noted that, despite the range in verse and prose, there's little diversity in Collins' choice of poets.Continue reading Show less
Key Standards Supported
Speaking & Listening
|SL.9-10: Comprehension and Collaboration|
|SL.9-10.1||Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.|
|SL.9-10.1a||Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.|
|SL.9-10.1b||Work with peers to set rules for collegial discussions and decision-making (e.g., informal consensus, taking votes on key issues, presentation of alternate views), clear goals and deadlines, and individual roles as needed.|
|SL.9-10.1c||Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.|
|SL.9-10.1d||Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.|
|SL.11-12: Comprehension and Collaboration|
|SL.11-12.1||Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.|
|SL.11-12.1a||Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.|
|SL.11-12.1b||Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision-making, set clear goals and deadlines, and establish individual roles as needed.|
|SL.11-12.1c||Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.|
|SL.11-12.1d||Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task.|