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Poetry Café: The World of Langston Hughes: This unit will introduce students to the world of the renowned poet Langston Hughes. Known for his unique, yet simple approach he embodies many of the characteristics of celebrated classic poets. The unit will focus briefly on his life, and then introduce seven of his poems including the celebrated poem The Weary Blues that incorporates elements of Jazz and Blues into poetry. His poems are simple and easily accessible to students in grades 2 nd-5 th, yet can be adapted to upper grade students. Presented with photos and music typical of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920's students will be able to connect their own experiences in the community in which they live with those of the famous poet. It is within this context that they will begin to understand and feel the beat of poetry, and in turn create their own poems. These poems will be practiced and later presented in a Café setting. Forms of poetry touched on will be Free Verse, Jazz Poetry, and Rhyming poetry. A detailed notation, suggested questions, and activities accompany each poem.
(Developed for ELA, History and Social Science, grades 2-3; recommended for Multiple Subjects Self-Contained Classroom, grades 2-8)