ERIC Number: ED366005
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Nov-19
Reference Count: N/A
Using Blues in the Classroom: Giving Form to Feeling.
The blues, having been fundamental to the history and heritage of African Americans, can help kids find themselves and their cultures in the language-based activities that are part of the writing program at School #74 in Buffalo, New York. One of the chapters in the student anthology which resulted from the university/school cooperative program contains poetry written as blues, specifically 12-bar blues. Objectives of the poetry-as-blues activity were to reinforce the writing process; to provide "fun" writing without the realization that learning was present; and to show that solid and meaningful writing could and should come from what students know. During the first class session, the 12-bar blues lessons were accompanied by a handout that illustrated the structure and AAB format of the 12-bar verse. During the second session, time was split between editing and performing (with guitar accompaniment, microphone, and amplifier). Many students scrambled during the performances to revise or continue writing. The project was successful because: (1) students wrote in their own voices; (2) they were writing what they know best--themselves and their world; (3) the format of the blues poetry was successfully handled by almost all the students; and (4) the students were given a positive outlet for the attention they crave at this age level. (The handout is attached.) (SAM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: African Americans; Blues Music; Blues Poetry; New York (Buffalo); State University of New York Buffalo
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (83rd, Pittsburgh, PA, November 17-22, 1993). For related papers, see CS 214 183-185.