Sunday, June 16, 2013

Gary Jackson poetry lesson plan, with diversity

As of last semester, I switched my Freshman Composition course to be with a diversity emphasis via pop culture. I have found that by including popular culture, it accomplishes several things:

· Students ready for college-level writing are excited to write about topics they enjoy
· Students not ready for college-level writing have a
point-of-entry into writing, via their ideas about topics they know about
· International students new to America catch a better sense of American pop culture, as well as what fellow students are interested in
· All students and I learn how diverse the classroom is, the diversity both seen and unseen
As I include a poetry section, Gary Jackson's Missing You, Metropolis is a good match--including a Topeka poet in a Topeka classroom.

Here is the assignment:

EN101 Freshman Composition
Writing Project #1 (Poetry) Assignment Sheet


Poetry in Freshman Composition?

You might ask, “What does poetry have to do with Freshman Composition?”  A lot!  In poetry, there is a detailed attention to words, the use of punctuation, lines, and concrete imagery.  Poetry also helps to accomplish the three goals for students in Freshman Composition:

·         Students will deepen the connection between their thinking and their writing.

·         Students will learn to develop their ideas through details, reasoning, and explanations.

·         Students will learn to edit their writing for the correct use of standard written English.

For this writing project, our class will develop both creativity and revision strategy and skills that are important tools for writing; we will do this by using a shorter form of writing—poetry.


Responding to Poetry

Read Missing You, Metropolis by Gary Jackson.  In addition, select two poems you were intrigued with during your reading and write responses to them. Each response should answer these questions:

  • What is the title of the poem?
  • What is the poem generally about in both explicit and implicit terms? 
  • What are your favorite passages and/or uses of language and why?
  • How can we, as poets, borrow from the rhetorical strategy of the poem?

Be inspired by Mr. Jackson for one of the poems you will write.

Poetry Writing

Write three or more poems (which we will have time to do in class). 

Your poem analysis and finished poems will be turned in as a poetry portfolio, along with your inventive work.

Any other requirements will be discussed in class.

Really, I allow the student responses to serve as starting points to writing poems. I also share the interview:

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