Our Spoken Word residencies are off to a great start. Our new spoken word artist, Christian Robinson, worked with more than 100 7th graders from Ms. Nefret Stringham’s Language Arts classes last week at Brooks Middle School.
The 5-day residencies are planned to coincide with the students’ poetry unit and given them exposure to a whole new way to approach the study of poetry. We expanded the program to five days this year to give the students more time to work with the artist in developing and editing their poems.
Christian, who also performs as a rapper and Spoken Word artist, worked with the students to find their inner poets and draft odes to their favorite people, places or things.
The week culminated with an in-class poetry slam, where the student paid tribute to moms and grandmas, cats and dogs, communists and Chicago, pesto pasta and flight attendants. Students from each period voted on the poem they wanted to represent their class at an all-school assembly on Nov. 21 at Brooks.
The residencies will wrap up at Brooks in the next few weeks and then kick off at Julian Middle in January.
At Julian, the Spoken Word Club opened up the proceedings of the District’s 5th annual legislator discussion, Claim Your Voice. The students were so well received that adult presenters and audience members stole the “Bring Your Heat” greeting used to greet performers and responded to salient points with the signature “snapping” you hear at a poetry slam.
Spoken Word is one of six in-school enrichment programs provided free of charge to thousands of District 97 students.