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Students should look forward to you saying, “Let’s read this poem” and not automatically groan. Reading and analyzing poetry is daunting to most students. Students think that there is a hidden message written in a secret language that they will never understand. One strategy to build up students’ confidence with poetry is to incorporate poems written in recent years by living poets. The topics and allusions hook students quickly, as well as the ease in finding these poets on various platforms reading and discussing their poems. In addition to sharing poems and poets that have been successful in the classroom, this workshop will include a number of activities and strategies that can be used to scaffold poetry analysis without resorting to annotating every single poetic element. And poetry does not have to be saved for the English class; poems can be incorporated into most content areas. In addition to these activities, various resources will be shared including the Twitter movement #TeachLivingPoets, which the presenter is a contributor to. Most examples will be geared toward middle and high school grades, but all activity can be modified for most grade levels.

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