Teachers from Laurel Park Middle School, Fieldale-Collinsville Middle School, Magna Vista High School, and Bassett High School came to Piedmont Arts for professional development sessions about creating poetry and utilizing spoken word in the classroom on Aug. 8 and 9. These educators spent their day learning how to tap into their own creativity and arrange thoughts, feelings, and emotions into spoken word poems that they then performed for a panel of judges made up of the staff of Piedmont Arts.
The workshops were led by Regie Cabico, an award-winning poet and spoken word artist currently residing in Washington D.C., and Angela Dribben, an artist, writer, and educator from the Appalachian Mountains. Teachers from the four schools left energized and excited about the possibilities poetry can create for themselves and their students.
Cabico’s workshop involved generating unique images and word play based on improvisation and movement exercises. This workshop included strategies to get students writing and sharing their work, including elements of performance. Dribben’s workshop used methods of blackout and erasure to create poems from required reading materials. This workshop was designed to integrate reading with writing so students can find resonance in the source materials and get excited about vocabulary and comprehension.