No Series: Poetry Open Mic

ELA.RF.4.4b

Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • RF:  Reading Standards: Foundational Skills (K-5)
  • 4:  4th Grade
  • 4b:  Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to
    support comprehension.

    a. Read on-level text with purpose and
    understanding.

    b. Read on-level prose and poetry orally with
    accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on
    successive readings


    c. Use context to confirm or self-correct word
    recognition and understanding, rereading as
    necessary.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

|
ELA.RF.5.4b

Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • RF:  Reading Standards: Foundational Skills (K-5)
  • 5:  5th Grade
  • 4b:  Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to
    support comprehension.

    a. Read on-level text with purpose and
    understanding.

    b. Read on-level prose and poetry orally with
    accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on
    successive readings.


    c. Use context to confirm or self-correct word
    recognition

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

Poetry Open Mic

Lesson Objective: Students take center stage to express themselves with poetry
Grades 4-5 / ELA / Speaking Skills
ELA.RF.4.4b | ELA.RF.5.4b

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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. What does the class do prior to "Open Mic?
  2. " How does the audience benefit from listening to the student performer?
  3. Notice how this activity "builds community, hits standards, and develops life skills."?

29 Comments

  • Private message to Michael Burnett
  1. What does the class do prior to "Open Mic?
    collect poetry that the students like, and also write their own.
  2. " How does the audience benefit from listening to the student performer?
    Listening shows support for their peers, introduces them to new material, and also aids them in developing acceptiable behaiviour in society.
  3. Notice how this activity "builds community, hits standards, and develops life skills."?
    I agree with this statement.  Community building is really important in and out of the classroom to foster positive relationships.  
Recommended (0)
  • Private message to Raven Groom
Great lesson. I believe it's important to help the students develop this skill early. It will help them throughout their school career and life.
Recommended (0)
  • Private message to kim kitson
Hi Michelle, Thank for sharing the inspiring work you do in class. Poetry is the foundation of so much in English studies and in literacy - and it builds confidence in voice and style. Just wonderful!
Recommended (0)
  • Private message to Gretchen Vierstra
Hi Michelle, we are currently in the process of captioning our entire library of videos. I am sorry this particular one has not been captioned yet. We will be releasing another batch of captioned videos soon. Stay tuned. In the meantime, the transcript is in supporting materials, but I know that is not the same thing.
Recommended (0)
  • Private message to Michella Maiorana-Basas
Please caption your videos for accessibility. I cannot share this video with my students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
Recommended (0)

Transcripts

  • Transcript for Poetry Open Mic with Lila Gray

    [01:00:13;22]
    Lila: Hi. I'm Miss Gray. Welcome to our fourth and fifth grade

    Transcript for Poetry Open Mic with Lila Gray

    [01:00:13;22]
    Lila: Hi. I'm Miss Gray. Welcome to our fourth and fifth grade Poetry Open Mic.

    "So, I agree with both of you."

    There is totally a culture of loving poetry in our classroom.

    "But do you think he loves this water, or do you think he's grossed out by this muddy water?"

    All: "Gross...grossed out." "Loves it."

    Lila: "What do you think? Have a quick conversation at your table. Does he love the water?"

    I think that stems partly from the fact that I love poetry.

    "Homemade swimming hole. I clamber up the ladder. It's cold."

    I think it's a doorway to multiple perspectives. I think it's a doorway to understanding other people's experiences.

    "Pick up my feet, and time stops."

    We do a big poetry unit at our school, and today we had our weekly open mic. You know, I wanted to make it like a little, theatre vibe, so there's a little setup in my classroom where there's a stage and a microphone, and these curtains that come out, and there's just one spotlight on our performer.

    So the goofiest part for me is that I'm, sort of, the emcee.

    "Ladies and gentlemen of Room 16, welcome to Open Mic."

    All: (Applause) "Whoo!!"

    Lila: "I'm so glad to have you all here today."

    I usually throw in some sort of joke.

    "Remember, no cell phones, no texting during the performance."

    It's a time to laugh and loosen up in the classroom. Ham it up so that they ham it up.

    "Please welcome Nikia to the mic."

    All: (Applause) "Whoo!!"

    Nikia: "How are you folks doing today?"

    All: "Good."

    Nikia: "I'm gonna read a familiar poem."

    Lila: Students have developed a collection of poems. They pick poems that inspire them, and then perform them at open mic. I mean, basically, they're on a constant search for poetry.

    Nikia: "As nighttime wrestles at my knees, I stand in silent gravity. And quietly continue chores of feeding leaves and sealing pores."

    Lila: They also write their own, original pieces, and perform those as well.

    Student: "Rain. Drops of water, drops of H2O. Drops of happiness or despair, depending on who you are. Rain, dripping from trees and bushes. Rain, plopping on houses and cars. Put on your coat. Why? Because of the rain. Rain, a gift that makes farmers cheer, a horror to all birds and cats, the beginning of all puddles. Rain. "

    All: (Applause) "Whoo!!"

    Lila: "I always love it when you guys write original works. That was very..."

    It's important for them to learn that, you know, expressing yourself can be really fulfilling.

    Students: "Grandma rockin'. Clock tick tockin'. Sister hummin'. Grandpa strummin'. Raindrops rappin'. Toes a-tappin'. Roof leak droppin'. Fire poppin'. Uncle fiddlin'. Brother whitlin'. Crickets chirpin'. Bullfrogs burpin'. We've just always been the sort who like the"

    Student: "Tranquil"

    Student: "Soothing"

    Student: "Peaceful"

    Student: "Placid"

    Students: "Quiet evenings here."

    All: (Applause) "Whoo!!"

    Lila: They get to express themselves. They get to see that people will listen, and be kind.

    Student: "Well, when I find the page, I want to tell you about the poem. It's really about, um, people living their rife, um, their life right, without messing your life up by trying to be somebody that they're not. And, it's called 'We're real cool.' OK. 'The pool players. Seven at gold shovel. We real cool. We left school. We lurk late. We strike straight. We sing sin. We thin gin. We jazz June. We die soon.' That's it.

    All: "Oh. Whoo!" (Applause)

    Lila: This is the perfect venue for building confidence, and it's the perfect time for those people who finally find their voice to step up.

    Student: "Sitting on the front steps watching the world go by. I'm sitting on my front steps watching the world go by. When I see all the trouble I know life ain't no piece of pie. Looking from my front steps, I can see the world go by. I can see the world go by. I'm looking from my front steps seeing how the world goes by. When I see so much joy, I know I get to try."

    All: (Applause) "Whoo!!"

    Lila: Students start to see "Oh wow, I can show people who I am. I can show people what I want the world to be. That's when I get really excited.

    "Give it up! Give it up for Zim!"

    You don't have to have a mic to do this. You don't have to have curtains hanging from the ceiling. It's fun. It makes it fun for everyone. It even makes it fun for me.

    "Can we give it up for our performers one more time, please?"

    All: (Applause) "Whoo!!"

    Lila: But, I think the more you turn it into a special thing, the more the kids take it seriously, and the more love for it the kids develop.

    All: (Applause) "Whoo!!"

    Lila: It is something that can hit standards. It's something that can build community. It's something that can develop really important life skills, and you can fit it into a small part of your day.

School Details

Emerson Elementary School
2800 Forest Avenue
Berkeley CA 94705
Population: 305

Data Provided By:

greatschools

Teachers

Lila Gray Smyth

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