Bring the poetry of the 2017 National Youth Poet Laureate into your classroom
Amanda Gorman's powerful poetry became famous after her 2021 Presidential Inauguration performance of "The Hill We Climb." Her work is a valuable tool for ELA teachers who want to boost their students' love of poetry.
Gorman's body of work presents an incredible opportunity to bring real-world poetry into your English classroom. Below, you'll find both sample poetry lessons for "The Hill We Climb" and an overview of other Gorman poems to use with your students.
The Hill We Climb
Take your students on a standards-driven deep dive into Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb” with our brand new, free lesson series. These five mini-lessons for grades 6-12 fit seamlessly alongside your core instruction. They cover many poetic devices, including figurative language, metaphor, remix, and allusions to Broadway’s Hamilton.
"The Hill We Climb" lesson plans are available to download here.
Gorman has been a prolific poet following the 2021 Inauguration, as well. Here are some of her more recent poems that you should consider integrating into your poetry curriculum.
"Alarum"- in this free-verse poem, Gorman references the climate crisis and possible human extinction. She references a division in society between those who act on climate change and those who do not.
"Chorus of the Captains"- written for the 55th Super Bowl, this poem honors three everyday Americans. The poem honors the work of the game's three "honorary captains" during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"In This Place (An American Lyric)"- An occasional poem that recalls various tragedies from America's recent history. Gorman considers the power of Americans to rewrite the country's story and look to the future.
"We Rise"- a poem that seeks to empower women and encourages them to speak their truths. Gorman encourages women to work together for justice and greater equality.
"New Day's Lyric"- published on New Year's Eve of 2021, this poem looks ahead to the possibilities of the new year. The poem includes themes of struggle and healing.
Including Amanda Gorman's work in a poetry unit can help boost student engagement with and interest in the form. Her poems tackle major issues facing society today, from climate change to women's rights and equality.
No matter the Gorman poem you choose, her writing will enable profound discussions and learning experiences. Let Amanda Gorman's bold, forward-looking poetry instill in your students a newfound passion for poetry.
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