Writing Workshop

Workshop Title: Slippin’

Step 1

Start by watching the embedded music video featuring rapper DMX. When it’s over, discuss what the purpose of the song was. What was DMX’s reason for writing the song? Can you think of other songs that share a similar idea? How and why are they similar to one another?

Step 2

Say, “Take a few minutes to think of some times when you felt like you were “slippin,” times when you felt like you weren’t on the right course or path. Then take some time to think of the ways in which you motivated yourself to get out of that spot. Were you able to do it yourself? Were people there to help you pull yourself up? Explain.” Then give your students 5-10 minutes to brainstorm.

Step 3

Have your students write a poem similar in sentiment to DMX’s “Slippin’” in which they write about their desire & motivation to put themselves on the right track.

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 poem includes are: selection of detail, figurative language, diction, and tone.

Step 2

Show your students the following video to introduce them to the life and legacy of DMX, both of which contribute heavily to the song you’ll be analyzing.

Step 3

Have your students open up the following presentation and go through the introduction and directions with them. In this assignment, students will be analyzing the first verse of DMX’s autobiographical song, “Slippin.” Your students will have to conduct a “body analysis” and determine how certain parts of DMX’s body (head, hands, heart, brains, etc.) help define the speaker’s complex attitude toward his past and present. Go through all of the slides before letting them begin.

*If your students are not able to open the template provided for them in the presentation, then they may work on a piece of newsprint or something similar.

Step 4

Give your students time to work through the assignment. They may work in groups if they’d prefer.

Step 5

When your students are done, have them share their analyses with the rest of the class.

Step 6

If time permits, share the exemplar essay.

Lesson Details

Lesson Info


  • Various


  • Aging
  • Children / Youth
  • Community / Culture
  • Criminal Justice
  • Education Formal / Informal
  • Family
  • Food / Hunger
  • Home / Homelessness
  • Parenting
  • Violence

Literary Tags

  • Diction
  • Figurative Language
  • Selection of Detail
  • Tone

Content Warning

  • Abuse