Finding our Voice in Poetry
What happens to a dream deferred? This complex question was put to our Kindergarten, First Grade, and Second Grade students during flex period in February. Would you fight for your dream? Would you let it wither away?
In honor of Black History Month, the students explored the famous Langston Hughes poem, “Harlem.” Although the students had already studied poems during flex period, this poem was a step up in terms of its elevated themes and subject matter. The students realized the great emotion contained in the poem, and it caused some serious contemplation and reflection after some discussion.
Making Connections with the Past
One student shared with the group, “I think ‘Harlem’ tells the story of how hard life was for African-Americans in the past. Maybe they were told their dreams could never come true.” As the students learned about Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks, they began to make connections between the information they have learned and the strong feelings expressed in the poem.
Miss Deddo led the group discussions and had the students illustrate, write, and post the poem as a culminating activity. “Thanks to these leaders that have come before us, like King and Parks, there is no dream unachievable for our students. They do not have to question what they can achieve, they just have to decide how hard they are willing to work for it. This poem helped students from all different backgrounds consider their dreams and imagine them coming to light. I was proud to be there when this happened,” Miss Deddo said.
Students recreated "Harlem" by Langston Hughes