Slam Poem Performances

Lesson #7: Slam Poem Performances



Students will perform their Slam Poems and evaluate themselves based on the collaborative rubric from the last class.



Did I meet my success criteria?

How did I feel at the end of class?

What does this have to theater and how are we going to build on this?

Do I know how to express to others how I felt about their poems?

Do I know how this landed with my audience?



It’s ok to follow your impulses when you respond to each poem.

This performance was about exploration of self. We’re going to transition to exploration of yourself through other characters.


Materials Needed: 

Pre-made “Poll everywhere” [or similar] that enables students to respond to what they thought about the performances; Class Rubric/Evaluation sheet (example included in lesson 6)


Hook:  In lieu of a Journal for this class, the students will write a line from their poems on the board as a graffiti board. Students will then be instructed to take a few minutes and create or share some kind of art that resonates with one of the lines from one of the poems. That could be a short drawing, a few short lines of their own writing, a bit of a song, a meme, a film clip, a tableau, etc. The idea is to think about the art that they are going to engage with.


Students will then get in small groups and share them rather than sharing with the class on the whole.


Step 1: Sign-up — Students will write a sign-up list on the board in the order that they would like to go. When the list is up, if anyone is unhappy, they can offer to trade with another student, but if not, the students will simply go.


Step 2:  Performance — Students are to introduce their piece which should include the following

  • Their Name
  • The title of the piece
  • Any potential warnings for language or content


Students will then share their piece, and when students end the next student goes. Discussion will be saved for the end.


Step 3: Poll everywhere — Students will share their initial thoughts on “poll everywhere” to the students’ performances. This will enable people to say things that they may be uncomfortable otherwise saying. Students who don’t have phones can use the teacher’s phone. Students while this is going on in will be invited to ask how they would like to share their responses to one another. (This involved lots of hugging in my class.) 


Step 4 : Bringing in the Closer –  Express to the students how important it is to be able to open up. Theatre requires students to go places they may not initially want to go, but can have fruitful results like this.