This is the eighth installment in a series at #TeachLivingPoets. The Poet Laureate Project features a different U.S. Poet Laureate each month during the 2019-2020 school year. Guest author Ann Cox highlights one or two of their poems, suggests activities to use these pieces in the classroom, and touches upon their contributions to the promotion of poetry in America. Ann Cox has over 20 years of experience teaching high school English, including AP Lit, Creative Writing, and Speech. She also spent several years as a teacher consultant for the Illinois State Writing Project.
This month I’m featuring our current U.S. Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo. She is the first Native American appointed to the position. Her many honors include the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas, the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets, and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America.
Harjo once commented, “I feel strongly that I have a responsibility to all the sources that I am: to all past and future ancestors…to all voices…all people, all earth, and beyond that to all beginnings and endings.” We can see Harjo touch upon several of these in her poem “Perhaps the World Ends Here.”
I’ve created a hyperdoc lesson that is ready to use for distance learning. It’s an easy way to get students reading and writing poetry during National Poetry Month. I hope you find it useful during these unusual times. The lesson for teaching a contemporary poem is suitable for high school and middle school levels, and can be done complete online.
Check out more from the Poet Laureate series:
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