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I suggest two major texts, “Sleeping on the Wing” and “Black American Poets” with inclusions of photocopies of Frost, Shakespeare, Afro-American folk poetry and spirituals. Moreover, this unit will endeavor to connect and use the students’ present experience of streets and life and music with the experience and feelings of poems of older times and similar experiences.
This unit will have the students write their own poetry from their own experiences. Some of these writing exercises will imitate forms of authors studied (e.g. lesson plan 3) and others will be free verse or poems of their own choice. I have included a personal experience of teaching poetry to a junior class, along with a poem written by a student, Danny Gorham. Finally, I have compiled a selection of poets’s biographies, many of whom are Afro-American. I feel that these biographies will be helpful to teachers and of great interest to students as they know more about the writers of other poems studied.
(Recommended for American Literature - Poetry Unit, basic and college preparatory, grade 11)
Poetry Afro-American Literature Character Portrayal Writing Instruction