My son listens to music incessantly. Rap music, mostly. He mentioned the other day he thought some of the lyrics seems like they were about the musician’s life. We looked it up and it appears this particular artist’s music is autobiographical, so my son was right. This conversation about rapping led to a discussion about poetry, in particular what metaphor, assonance, consonance etc are. Then a discussion on how rapping can sound like what happens in poetry slams, also known as spoken word.
Poetry slams are part performance and part creative poetry writing. These slams are live competitions whose participants are for all intents and purposes artists, who are not performers in real life, but on stage are a power to be reconnected with. Through this kind of poetry, kids can find a way to figure out their feelings and beliefs about their world, figure out who they are and express themselves in a powerful way.
As homeschoolers, we know poetry can teach our children writing. Poetry slams have the added benefit of building confidence. I’m not sure if my son would take part in a slam, however, the fact that he would, in admiration of a rap artist, begin writing poetry, is a great beginning. The slam part would provide a social outlet for his words. Homeschooling groups have been known to showcase classes and events like this. It does not even have to be local, as nowadays, with Skype and other videoconferencing services, children can participate in slams online or in actual sponsored competitions anywhere in the country.
For more information on poetry slams, visit Poetry Slam.
Article By Nuria Almeida
Photo By Henrik Ström