Poetry remains to be an intimidating art for many people. Appreciation of poetry then seems to be imperative to keep it alive. In Xavier School Nuvali, the Grade 8 students aimed to spread the love for poetry through their end-of-the-year performance task: poetry reading.
In the introduction to the unit on poetry, there was a collective groan from the students, who dreaded the expected sessions on interpretation and writing. But little by little, the walls the students put up against poetry were broken down as they were introduced to works mainly by contemporary poets such as Tyler Knott Gregson, Lang Leav, and even songwriters.
The poetry reading session ended a year-long lesson on language, literature, interpretation, and, of course, poetry. The students eagerly set to work on planning the event, with the goal of sharing their new-found appreciation for poetry with their fellow students.
Dubbed “Feels Friday” because it targeted one’s “feels,” or emotions, the event was scheduled on the last day of the month of love: February 28. The students prepared poems they either wrote or poems that had touched them profoundly. Photo booths and poetry dedication booths were set up to raise funds for the poetry reading event, which was attended by students, teachers, and even a few parents who stopped by on their way to transact business at the office.
When asked how they felt about the event, the 8th graders shared the general sentiment that the event was a success because—as one of them said—“everyone was listening attentively, and even I who [hate] poetry was able to appreciate the message that it tries to convey.”
Thanks to the carefully planned event, the school community—not just the 8th graders—has a better appreciation for poetry.