Integrate art and poetry
For a twist on poetry that merges art study with creative writing, introduce students to ekphrastic poetry. Ekphrasis — the description of artwork in a poem — brings art into your classroom and into your students’ lives.
I’ve taught ekphrastic poetry on several occasions to high school students in both English and in dedicated poetry classes. In both settings, students responded well to ekphrastic poetry. No wonder! Having the freedom to search and select an artwork to describe and interpret with free verse provides the choice and creativity that students thrive on.
Use these six student-written poems as mentor texts for teaching ekphrastic poetryKeep reading
New ekphrastic poetry resource!
Visit my Site Shop to find this 14-slide presentation perfect for introducing your students to ekphrastic poetry.
Plan to spend 20-30 minutes showing and discussing the basics of ekphrastic poetry, and reading classic ekphrastic poems, including a student-written example. Use the rest of the period to allow students to get started on their poems.
The final slide recaps the basic directions. Project this slide, so students can refer to it as they begin. The product description in my Site Shop has more details, and additional thumbprint images. Product images show a representative selection of the fourteen total slides.
Try your hand at ekphrastic poetry! It will definitely appeal to your more creative students and expose your non-art students to new horizons. Everyone wins!
Another tip: Make a Google Slides presentation, share the link to your class, and have students upload their poems along with photos of their chosen artworks. Students will have fun seeing what their classmates choose for art and then hearing their ekphrastic interpretations in poetic form. Cheers!
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