by Fatimah Asghar
Photo by Cassidy Kristiansen
Workshop Title: Anger
Ask your students, “What’s something that makes you upset? Like, really upset. Something that you think about all the time, something you can’t escape.” Give them time to think about it, then discuss.
Read Fatimah Asghar’s “america” with your students. Then ask them why she feels that way toward America.
Give your students some time to brainstorm and come up with a list of reasons why they feel so angry toward one of the things they discussed earlier.
Tell the students to write a poem in which they express their anger toward a particular, place, or person. Make sure that they’re providing the reasoning behind the anger rather than just expressing how upset they are.
When the students are done, have them share their responses if they feel comfortable enough to do so.
Area of Focus: Structure
If your students are not familiar with the general concept of a poem’s “structure,” go through the introductory lesson.
Read the poem “america” by Fatimah Asghar with your students. When you’re done, simply ask them what they thought the tone of the poem was, how she feels toward America. Then ask them how they came to that conclusion.
Open the document in which they will be working and go over the directions with them. There are multiple components to the assignment, so just be sure that they understand what’s expected of them. They need to read the poem, analyze its structure, create their own poem using a similar structure, then discuss the choices behind their own poem.
Give them time to work on the assignment. They may work in groups if you’d like.
When the students are done, share the exemplar essay. Then allow them to share a few of their responses with the rest of the group.
- Community / Culture
- Death / Grief
- Home / Homelessness
- Selection of Detail