This is a week-long assignment that takes students through the process of finding and developing an interpretation of a poem for performance in the classroom. It contains the lesson, students handouts, a performance rubric, suggestions for poems to use, and several great vocal warm ups that I use extensively in my drama classes.
One of the nice things about teaching students to create an oral interpretation of a poem is that it is not only a good technique for developing an actor’s voice, but it is also a device for teaching literature appreciation. Many students approach poetry with a mix of fear and intimidation, while many teachers find struggle with finding just the right method of teaching it amidst the myriad of other tasks and lessons that must be taught.
This assignment dives right into what is most enjoyable about poetry: reading them out loud and enjoying someone reading them out loud. Students in English or language arts or theatre, drama, acting, or speech classes will learn how to read poems out loud with feeling and expression, and will begin to appreciate why poetry has been such a popular art form for so long, and why it remains so today.