Postings by Shelley NiTuama

Carl Sandburg: Chicago’s poet

Wabash Ave north from Adams Street, Chicago, Illinois, 1900
Ask your students to recall the last time they heard a poet reading a poem on TV. They might mention watching the last presidential inauguration, or perhaps a televised poetry reading at last summer’s Olympic Games. Most likely, though, they won’t be able to remember a time when they heard a poet anywhere, let alone on television.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Let Freedom Ring! Democracy in the poetry of Hughes and Whitman

EDSITEment’s Walt Whitman to Langston Hughes: Poems for a Democracy considers if there is such a thing as ‘a democratic poem.” It’s a good question. Can the spirit and fervor and idealism of our democratic principles, hard won over and over again through conflict, war, sacrifice, and death be captured within the confines of poem?Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Will Common Core Make “Mockingbird” Extinct?

A scene from the play "To Kill A Mockingbird," performed in Monroeville, Alabama
Even though To Kill a Mockingbird appears on the list of Common Core State Standards English Language Arts 9–10 grade exemplar texts (Appendix B p. 107), and poll results rank it as second only behind the Bible as the book that makes the most difference in people’s lives, teachers are concerned that important fiction such as Mockingbird will be overwhelmed in the call for more informational texts in an already crowded curriculum.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

More Frost Poetry for the Classroom: Closing Gaps and Building Walls

Photograph of a stone wall on farmland in Derry, N.H. once owned by Robert Frost
SOMETHING there is that doesn't love a wall,That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,And spills the upper boulders in the sun;And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Paul Revere’s Ride: Waking the Sleeping and the Dead

Paul Revere's ride
“Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead, / In their night encampment on the hill.”Once memorized by schoolchildren worldwide, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's famous poem “Paul Revere’s Ride,” available from the EDSITEment resource The Academy of American Poets, is thought to be about the courage of a colonial hero at the start of the Revolutionary War.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings