Postings by Shelley NiTuama

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

De-Frosting Poetry for the Classroom

Winter Fairyland
On the occasion of his March 26th birthday, EDSITEment celebrates American poet, Robert Frost.Robert Frost is one of two poets (along with Emily Dickinson) whose poems appear on the list of CCSS text exemplars for every grade level. Little surprise there as Frost has been deemed “the American bard” and remains one of the most beloved and widely taught poets of the 20th century. We can find a “way in” to the poetry of this formidable American master by using active reading strategies.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings