Mr. Dane Grant’s 7th-12th grade English classes, at the Badger Academy in Beebe, Arkansas directed by Keith Madden, presented their very first “Poetry Slam” this past semester in 2013. It was held in the Beebe Central Office board room, from 6:30-8:00pm. They had approximately 60 students and parents in attendance.
The students worked for two weeks reading, writing, and creating their own poetry and poetry book. The book included pictures to illustrate their poems, examples of famous poems, and 10-15 poems that they wrote.
The students knew upfront that the final assignment would be to present their free-verse poem at the poetry slam. They worked tirelessly as the day loomed ahead, and when it was show time, they performed beautifully! We have 24 students at the academy, and we had 18 of them read their poems that night. They were required to speak in front of the group, which for many was very taxing.
They did an awesome job presenting in front of such a large and diverse group. The students set out with a purpose and goal in mind, and they achieved that goal, while breaching boundaries they never thought they could.