It is important for teachers to know what they are up against teaching in the age of technology. Our competition, as teachers, are video games, YouTube, the Internet, computers, cell phones, social networking sites, music devices, the television, and so on and so on. Sitting in a classroom staring at a teacher or board all day cannot capture and hold on to our students' attention. We, as teachers, must offer more than worksheets and overhead projections. This unit can incorporate different multimedia to keep class new, exciting, and attention grabbing.
Television—HBO has an amazing series
Brave New Voices
, which features young adults who write and perform poetry. Not only are the poems powerful and emotional, but also the performances are captivating and intriguing. It is hard to look away when a young male/female is performing an original poem. This is a great tool to use in the classroom during this unit. The show can offer exciting new poems to discuss and analyze in the classroom and it can also serve as an inspiration to writing original poems for students.
YouTube—There are many different clips on YouTube which broadcast poetry slams, the spoken word, def jams, etc. This website is a great place to find clips of poetry in various different forms to show students as examples of poetry performances or as classroom discussion starters.
Movies—Movies, such as
all focus on the topic of poetry. These are great movies to show in full to students or movies to pull clips from to have students watch and discuss. Also, the characters in these movies are appealing to most high school students.
Music—This unit focuses heavily on rap lyrics, so the songs the rap lyrics accompany should be played in class when appropriate to pull students into the lesson. Just words on a page, no matter how interesting, can lose the attention of most students if they do not have various means of hearing those words.
While these are only some of the different ways to incorporate multimedia, the few suggestions given should most definitely be incorporated to compliment the unit. Students can become bored of the same reading and writing activities, so adding multimedia into the unit can help keep students wanting to come to class!