Darlington School: Poetry March Madness
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Poetry March Madness

Melissa Smyly | April 5, 2019 | 86 views

Everyone loves March Madness (or should). Even people who wouldn't know Zion Williamson if he walked into the room, are die-hard Dukies for at least a couple of weeks!

My tenth grade English II classes used the month of March to prepare for April's "Poetry Month" by evaluating some poetry "Bracketology Style."

Our first step was to seed the poets. We decided on three criteria - name recognition, body of work, and awards and notable achievements. Some poets were on the bubble, but ultimately we created four regions, giving thirty-two teams a one through eight seed.

Next we went through four rounds using the SWIFT poetry analysis acronym (STRUCTURE, WORD CHOICE, IMAGERY, FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE, and THEME). We narrowed it down to two final poets. By this time the students had read four different poems by each poet and were familiar with the poet's style. 

Each student picked his/her favorite final poem and wrote a one page poetry analysis (the culminating activity). The winners for each class were Edgar Allan Poe (two classes) and Maya Angelou (two classes). The other finalists were Langston Hughes, e.e. cummings, and Shel Silverstein.

Overall it was a great activity, and I am looking forward to next year's match ups.