SOS: Poetry Slam

Welcome to  Spotlight on Strategies Challenge!  Our S.O.S series provides help, tips, and tricks for integrating DE media into your curriculum.

Poetry SlamPDF Version

If “Pictures are worth a thousand words” then why not use imagery to inspire student writing. “When learners are situated in an environment similar to what a poem describes, they can understand what the poet meant easily, thus enhancing learning performance” Situated Poetry Learning Using Multimedia Resource Sharing Approach  A poetry slam encourages students to make their readings more intentional and dramatic.


  • Have students share what they know about the rainforest.
  • Explain that after watching a video segment about the rainforest, they will need to write a Haiku poem using supporting evidence from the clip.
  • Play the clip The Layers of the Rain Forest.  Pause every 60 seconds and have students write 2-3 key things they learned during that segment.
  • When video concludes, have students share something they learned about the rainforest.
  • Discuss the structure of haiku poems with students (first line has 5 syllable; second line has 7 syllables; and the third line has 5 syllables).
  • Have students write a Haiku poem.  While they are writing play the audio file Forest Ambiance Afternoon Rain.
  • Have students practice haiku poems with you and with each other.
  • When students are done, have them read their poetry aloud with audio file Forest Ambiance Afternoon Rain playing in background and the imagery from the video segment The Layers of the Rain Forest (mute video audio so that just imagery is appearing)   Have students compete for the most dramatic reading
  • Discuss with students how adding visual and multimedia elements contributes to the meaning, tone, or beauty of the haiku text.


  • Find a video segment and sound effect that complement your current content.
  • After students watch and listen, have them write haikus.
  • Students should read Haikus allowed with imagery and sound effect playing in the background.

You can take the challenge by:

  • Implementing this strategy and letting us know how it went by posting a comment below.
  • Using this strategies in your grade level planning discussions and/or professional development and reporting your events. (Remember we consider an event anytime 3 or more educators gather together… doesn’t have to be in a computer lab… could be sitting around the lunch table)
  • Photocopying the flier and distributing it in your colleague’s boxes and/or posting it to your own BulleDEN board.

To see other strategies in this series click here.  For a link to all the PDFs in this series click here.




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  1. Deborah Thonus said:

    Love, love, love this! I plan to use this strategy with our study of the Civil Rights movement in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Thank you!

  2. Gerri McDonald said:

    I love this strategy for enhancing poetry, and used it with my middle school students in our study of the Great Depression.

  3. Pingback: DE Summer School: SOS- Poetry Slam – DEN Blog Network

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