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Borders and Doorways: Using Poetry of Constraint to Explore Boundaries and Possibilities

Author: Sophia Renda


Baldi Middle School

Year: 2019

Grade Level: 8

Keywords: analysis, collaborative learning, poetry, writing portfolio

School Subject(s): English, Literature, Poetry

In this unit, students will explore the boundaries and crossings (geographic, socio-economic, linguistic, cultural) that they encounter each day through poetry. Students will analyze poems that both employ and defy constraints in their form, revealing the possibilities for creativity and resistance even within the borders that structure our lives and direct our paths. Recognizing that many students grapple with these boundaries, abstract and literal, this curriculum not only exposes them to poems that reflect these struggles, but also empowers them to write their own poetry tackling these complex crossings. Students are challenged to employ specific discussion models that increase whole-class participation and allow for multiple modes of entrance and interpretation. Additionally, students will produce their own poetry portfolios reflecting their own unique engagement with formal poetic constraints.

Download Unit: Renda-S.-19.01.08.pdf

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