Poetry, Performance & Taylor Mali and Beyond…

Graded, the American School of São Paulo, was fortunate to have Taylor Mali, a performance poet and teacher, come all the way to Brazil to engage and get our students and teachers excited about poetry and performing the spoken word.

Below is a Storify of his visit via Twitter. 

I am wondering how our school can not let the enthusiasm and engagement of Mali’s visit die down, but use it as a springboard to add another layer of writing and presentation skills for an audience.  Along came a tweet linking to poetry examples created by Haiku Deck.
I have always been a fan of Haiku Deck as a tool to embed more visual teaching and learning into the classroom. Haiku Deck has added in recent months the ability to use their presentation/slides/ design tool on a web based platform in addition to the iPad app. The easy step by step flow of creating visually appealing and text-light slides that  search Creative Commons images on Flickr (what an amazing concept 🙂 to then AUTOMATICALLY cite  the images appropriately and include the citation on the created slides make the tool my number one choice.
During Taylor Mali’s workshop with students, I jotted down bits of writing, according to the exercise he was working through with us. Although I am a writer who enjoys the written word (I can get goosebumps when I read or write a good sentence :), adding visuals added another layer of intensity to my writing process. The writing “felt deeper” and more thoughts and connections went into my writing after using visuals as part of my process.

Together with our Library Coordinator, Meryl Zeidenberg, we kept brainstorming how to amplify the Taylor Mali experience even further.

  • What if we were to contact other school’s and classes who participated in workshops facilitated by Taylor Mali?
  • What if we collaborated  with them in creating a poetry book, visually enriched with photographs or students’ own illustrations?
  • What if we tweaked Taylor’s exercise adding a component to include the geographic location, cultural characteristics or traditions?