This is the ninth 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 former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, who served in the position from 1997-2000. As the nation’s official poet, the Poet Laureate’s task is to increase U.S. citizens’ appreciation for reading and writing poetry. During his term, Robert Pinsky created the Favorite Poem Project, which asked Americans to share their favorite poem with the nation.
Today’s distance learning project post is by Brian Hannon, who teaches AP Language and Composition, AP Literature and Composition, and English 11 at Hayfield Secondary School in Alexandria, Virginia. Outside of school, Brian currently serves as the Youth and Education Development Fellow at the Washington D.C. non-profit poetry organization, Split This Rock. He also works part-time for the Ultimate Fighting Championship and as a Muay Thai instructor. In 2018, Brian was a finalist for Fairfax County Public Schools Teacher of the Year and was his conference’s Coach of the Year for Hayfield’s Varsity Tennis Team.
Since we’re stuck at home and have been directed to create lessons that students can complete remotely, I’m sure that many of you feel a bit of pressure to come up with engaging, meaningful lessons that don’t require TOO much oversight from yourselves. I, too, am in that boat, so I just wanted to share an assignment that worked well for me and my students, one that they were able to complete independently. In retrospect, I wish I had assigned this lesson AFTER the closure of school, but I don’t think anybody was prescient enough to predict the pandemic that we now find ourselves in! Continue reading