Help for Educators


You've seen a show, now what do you do?

Follow-up activities for the Classroom
(All of these activities may take place over the course of a school year)

Ask students which poems they liked best and why? Which poems did they not like? Why?

Which poems in the Poetry Alive! performance would the students have done differently? Why?

Use the performance as an introduction to poems that were not familliar to the students prior to the show.

Use the performance as a reference for poems that were familiar to the students prior to the show. Has their opinion changed about the poems?

Have the students research other poems by an author whose poem they particularly enjoyed in the performance.

If the students enjoyed a certain "type" of poem, have them find others of the same genre in the library or textbooks.

Encourage students to begin memorizing favorite poems. Have them identify movements or actions which help them memorize lines.

Have the students discuss how changing the performance "mood" could change the meaning of the poem (e.g. make it funny, sad, etc.)

Have the students discuss different ways the body may moe in order to respond to different emotions. How can these be applied to the poems?

Have students act out their poems for each other in the classroom.

Writing Follow-up Activities

Once the students have memorized and performed a poem, have them try to write a poem similar to the one they have memorized.

Have the students write about the characters in the poem.

Have each student answer "Who is saying what to whom and to what effect?" for each poem studied. Answering this question sets in motion ideas for other poems that they can write and aids in the student's rendition of the poem.

Encourage students to emulate the writing style of poems that they like. This can provide them with structured models while they apply their own creative modes of expression.

Have students write what they think happened both before and after the "time" of the poem.

Have student exchange poems they have written with another student -- a poetry "buddy" -- and ask them to act out each other's poems. This allows students the opportunity to see and hear the words they have written. The students can then assess their own writing by asking "Was this what I wanted to say?"

Teacher Follow-up and Resources

Poetry Alive! would appreciate any findings you have concerning the use of the poem performance method in your classroom. Please let us know what changes you observe in your students' reading and writing skills.

Feel free to contact us directly with any questions or suggestions.  You can do so via email or our email form or  by calling us toll-free at 1-800-476-8172.