A Poetic Finale
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Loyola Academy, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Day 2: Writing and Revision (approximately one 50-minute class period)
What has been going on?
After closely reading Remedy’s song and making connections to Holocaust texts, students begin writing rap lyrics/poems inspired by personally important and meaningful moments, facts, and people from our study of the Holocaust.
What poetic techniques did Remedy use?
Students should use several poetic techniques in their poems. I begin class by reviewing the previous day’s discussion of the poetic techniques Remedy employs in his song:
- Alliteration: “Death before dishonor for those who were brave”
- Assonance: “homes” and “bones” (“Forced from our families, taken from our homes/Moved from our God then burned of our bones”)
- Metaphor: “Moving targets who walk with the star on their sleeve”
- Repetition: “There is nowhere to run to, nowhere to hide”
- Rhyme: “Mass extermination/Total annihilation/Shipped into the ghetto and prepared for liquidation”
- Simile: “I can’t express the pain/That was felt in the train/To Auschwitz, tears poured down like rain”
Students use the second day to continue writing their poems. I remind them that their pieces do not have to be memorized, that they may read from a hard copy of the poem.
I divide the class into groups of four. Students should bring their rough drafts to the group.
Small peer revision groups meet during the last 15 minutes of class. Groups appoint a revision group leader who will promote discussion and maintain a positive, supportive atmosphere. To aid in this, I give each group leader a copy of the handout titled Revision Group Guidelines. Students read their drafts to the group. The group offers advice and suggestions based on a rubric I provide (Student Handout 5).
Note: Revision groups may need more than 15 minutes.
Homework: Due Day 3
Many students will need to finish their poems as homework.
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