Voices in Verse: Poetry, Identity, Ethnic Studies

Course Overview:

We’ve partnered with GetLit to offer the Voices in Verse: Poetry, Identity, and Ethnic Studies. This online course is a semester-long course that pairs the performance of classic poetry with spoken word response to engage, ignite, and embolden students in their literary and ethics studies.  

This course is a rigorous deep-dive into poetry and performance that strengthens and elevates traditional English Language Arts coursework and social-emotional learning while acting as a foundation for poetry, spoken word, ethnic studies, and the performing arts. This course is built on the foundation of pairing classic poetry with spoken word response, writing, and performance, challenging students to ask  “What is identity and its impact?” and “How can we use literature to build empathy, empower student voices, and promote agency?” Voices in Verse: Poetry, Identity, and Ethnic Studies useS project-based learning, problem-solving, and 21st-century skills to develop students into stronger readers, writers, performers, and culturally responsive citizens. The course uses multi-genre and process writing and performance, as well as speaking and listening skills, to help students synthesize and respond to work by BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and poets with disabilities.  

Throughout the course, students will learn important skills and tools, such as poetic forms, universal themes, historical context, peer work, and the impact of literary devices. This course also focuses on peer-to-peer learning with collaborative teaching, research, writing, critique, revision, publishing, and performance. Students will engage in close reading, hone their craft, and offer critiques of writing and performance craft; they will also grapple with cultural issues such as race, gender, class, and sexuality. In short, students will act as both authors and advocates. As researchers, performers, evaluators, and activists, students will be encouraged to examine the environment and rhetoric of the world around them. These observations will demand high-level responses through writing, academic dialogues, and courageous conversations where students share and showcase their identity and the impact it has had on their life. 

This course uses multiple methods and intelligences to create a classroom community that fosters self-confidence, identity, interpersonal skills, empathy, cultural activism, and self-advocacy through the lens of literacy and public speaking.

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