Pickin' Boogers

by Biz Markie

Writing Workshop

Workshop Title: Boogers

Step 1

Start by watching the embedded video of Biz Markie’s “Pickin’ Boogers.” When it’s done, ask your students try to think of how Biz Markie’s relationship with his friend, Big Daddy Kane, is somewhat similar to one that they’ve had with somebody they know.

Step 2

Say “Think about a relationship that you have (or have had) with a friend of yours, one that is unconventional or particularly different than that you would have with another person. Then jot down all the ways that makes your friendship unique.” Then give your students time to brainstorm.

Step 3

Have your students write a light-hearted poem – similar in tone to Biz Markie’s “Pickin’ Boogers” – in which they reflect on a unique friendship with somebody that they’re particularly close to.

Step 4

When the students are done, have them share their responses with one another.

The full presentation may be found HERE.

Analytical Lesson

Area of Focus: Various

Step 1

This lesson allows students to analyze various concepts and skills, so it is recommended that you have covered several of the “standalone” lessons before assigning this one. The prominent literary devices & techniques that this particular song includes are diction, figurative language, tone, and selection of detail.

Step 2

Open the following presentation and go through the slides with your students. This presentation includes all of the information, links, and materials needed for this assignment. In this assignment, your students will examine the song “Pickin’ Boogers” by the late, great Biz Markie and analyze it from one of the literary critical lenses.

Step 3

Once you’ve gone over the directions for the assignment, have your students open the following presentation. Then give your students time to work on the assignment. Students are encouraged to work in groups for this activity.

*This presentation is the same as the one you just used, so you will need to make a separate copy for each of your students so they can work directly in it.

Step 4

When your students are done, pick a few volunteers to share their analyses with the rest of the class (without immediately revealing which of the critical lens was used). After they share, have the rest of the class attempt to determine the critical lens based on their analysis of the text.

Step 5

If time permits, share the exemplar essay with your students so they can see an analysis of the text from a critical lens that they’re likely well-accustomed to: one from a “Formalist” literary critical lens.

Lesson Details

Lesson Info


  • Various


  • Appreciation
  • Children / Youth
  • Community / Culture
  • Education Formal / Informal
  • Family
  • Friendship
  • Joy
  • Love

Literary Tags

  • Diction
  • Figurative Language
  • Selection of Detail
  • Tone