The term ‘slam poetry’ serves as an umbrella category for all poems that are meant to be performed for a live audience in a competitive environment. Throughout the course of the camp the students learned about different forms of poetry and consistently practiced writing and performing poems. At the end of the camp, the students have the option of practicing their skills and competing in a slam poetry competition.
Creative Expression staff work to strengthen the students’ academic skills of reading comprehension, writing, and vocabulary through writing poetry. The students learn about various poetry styles and apply them to their own writing; in this way they simultaneously learn and critically think about their emotions, environment, and actions while practicing coherent articulation of their thoughts.
Key Program Activities and Results:
The Poetry curriculum utilizes the same themes of community, identity, self-expression, dealing with adversity, problem solving, making a difference, support for Cleveland, and goal setting in teaching the concepts of creative writing and poetry slam. The forms of poetry taught included free verse, haikus, rap, sonnets, and blank verse. Additionally, the students learn about various literary terms including metaphors, similes, couplets, etc. The students combined all of these components to answer various, theme-sensitive prompts: i.e. an identity prompt asking “who am I?” etc. After answering the prompts, the Creative Expression instructors demonstrate and help the students perform their poems in front of a live audience twice per summer.