Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mixed Media Poetry Exhibit at Woodland Elementary

Students reading & listening to poem by Eugene B. Redmond
On Monday, April 9, we hosted one of our mixed media poetry exhibits at Woodland Elementary School in Edwardsville, IL. Our exhibits provide students with opportunities to read and listen to poetry while viewing photographs of poets from the Eugene B. Redmond Collection. Woodland was one of the first schools that we began hosting the events three years ago, so we always look forward to making an annual visit.

So far, we have organized the exhibits for the school's 5th graders. For Monday's event, we saw about 180 students during the course of the day. They seemed to enjoy the exhibit, which included poems by Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka, Gwendolyn Brooks, Lucille Clifton, Nikki Giovanni, Eugene B. Redmond, and Margaret Walker.

Audio devices are a main feature of our exhibits, making it possible for students to participate in a listening experience with the poetry. We've added soundtracks to some of the poets reading their works, so, as always when we host the exhibits for young people, we have dancers--students who do all kinds of rhythmic moves as they listened to the poetry. A couple of the poems -- Baraka's "RhythmBlues" and Brooks's "We Real Cool" have rhymes -- and students would repeat the lines over and over.

Students reading and listening to poems

We asked the students to respond to questions about their favorite poems from the exhibit, the look and shapes of the pieces, and the kinds of poems that they might create. After various groups of students toured the exhibit, we then had conversations about their responses. We had a good time discussing poems, the photographs, and the students' various remixes of "We Real Cool."

Mixed Media Poetry Exhibits

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