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Inspired by Walt Whitman

BethAnn Olesen, one of my favorite collaborating English teachers, developed a simple project that inspired some outstanding poetic efforts and I thought I’d share.

The prompt was to create a digital poem inspired both by Walt Whitman’s I Hear America Singing and by your own personal interpretation of the American Dream.

BethAnn explains the details:

As part of our study of the evolution of the American dream, our class performed a close reading of Walt Whitman’s “I Hear America Singing.”  Students then used Whitman’s work as a model for their own updated version.  They used imagery, repetition, and metaphor in their poems to paint a picture of what they perceive to be the modern attitude towards the American dream.  After crafting their poems, students used Animoto as a means of exploring how images and music impact a reader’s understanding of mood and tone.  Overall, the students created beautiful projects that demonstrated their sophisticated thinking of modern society.

Here are two of our favorite responses:

Anthony’s I Watch America Fight

and Brina’s I See America Running

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Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is the teacher-librarian at Springfield Township High School, a technology writer, and a blogger. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

Comments

  1. bjneary says:

    This was totally delightful to watch as students interpreted the American Dream in the Whitman poem, they did a great job with Animoto, pictures and their text was inspiring. Great job!

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