Inspired by the success of our popular syndicated series Poem-a-Day, we’re pleased to present Teach This Poem, winner of the 2018 Innovations in Reading Prize given by the National Book Foundation.
Produced for K-12 educators, Teach This Poem features one poem a week, accompanied by interdisciplinary primary sources and activities designed to help teachers quickly and easily bring poetry into the classroom. The series is produced with the assistance of Curriculum Consultant Ansley Moon and was developed with Educator in Residence Dr. Madeleine Fuchs Holzer who continues to provide oversight and guidance. Teach This Poem is available for free via email.
Watch a video about Teach This Poem and teaching with primary sources with Dr. Holzer and our Education Ambassador Richard Blanco.
Read more about Teach This Poem’s impact.
Teach This Poem, though developed with a classroom in mind, can be easily adapted for remote-learning, hybrid-learning models, or in-person classes. Please see our suggestions for how to adapt this lesson for remote or blended learning. We have also noted suggestions when applicable and will continue to add to these suggestions online.
Look closely at this image of a tree here.
The following activities and questions are designed to help your students use their noticing skills to move through the poem and develop their thinking about its meaning with confidence, using what they’ve noticed as evidence for their interpretations. Read more about the framework upon which these activities are based.
“This poem was drafted during my Macondo Fellowship in 2018. It is a praise poem for my Aunty Yoly, the last elder matriarch in my family. As the first to migrate to the U.S., she continually supported family members until her death. With her, each small act was somehow a lesson, an unwavering quiet commitment to cultivate our collective memory and love. The structure reflects a playful root, a back and forth with land and climate. The poem revels in soft, yet vital, sacred offerings from elders: eating sunlit fruit, learning to grow plants, and an acceptance of gender awareness.” Read the about this poem statement by Kay Ulanday Barrett.