Poetry, Spoken Word & Hip-Hop Syllabus

Instructor Email Class Website
Anthony Reynolds
Course Overview
An exploratory study of the contemporary spoken word movement and it’s roots in poetry and hip-hop music and culture.
Spoken word is an art form with an immediacy and intimacy not found in other forms. It is a way to address life’s most hilarious, confusing, moving and infuriating developments head on, making it a particularly appropriate outlet for young adults.
Course Objectives
To reflect our understanding of the world and ourselves through art by:
Read, watch, interpret and critique poems and lyrics from a wide swath of writers
Create our own works
Perform works for the class and an outside audience
Edit and print a collection of our original works
Write and record our own raps and spoken word performances
Experience guest speakers/performers
Submit work to publications
Attend open mic poetry events outside of school
Course Materials
Students will be given copies of other readings or directed to the class website to locate online sources (poems, articles, websites and videos).
Students will be required to keep journal which will be checked weekly.
Most assignments can either be typed or hand written, though some will require electronic versions and others an artistic presentation.
Students will be required to find additional material from their local library.
Maturity Level
We will read from books an hear material with a variety of topics. I don’t believe in censoring art for middle-school students, but will steer you towards topics that I feel are most appropriate. On the same token, I don’t believe in censoring the work of my students, but I will help steer you towards the most effective way to express an idea. By being a part of this class, each student is agreeing to handle themselves in a mature manner.
Course Procedure and Grading Formant
Class Time
Participation is paramount. Performance and delivery will be cultivated and evaluated.
We will write individual and/or collaborative pieces every day. This means working through bouts of low inspiration or writer’s block
We will have some free-flowing discussions and some structured ones, and each student should seeks ways and opportunities to participate.
Work Expectations
Students will have homework (almost) due every class. It will usually require one piece of writing and a response to another.
There will be some memorization for recitation required as well.
There will be some memorization for recitation required as well.
Students will write regular responses/critiques outside of class to work they are either assigned or find on their own
Students will practice techniques to respectfully critique each others works.
Grading Structure
Grading will be determined using the following structure:

Writing: 40%
Recitation: 25%
Critical Reflections: 25%
Poetry Event Attendance (2): 10%
Total 100%

Late Work Policy
Work is expected to be turned in on time and is a critical part of your class participation. If you fail to complete an assignment your participation will also suffer. Late work will be marked down 10% per day late. Chronically late work (three or more late assignments) will result in any of the following: lowering of final grade, parental call or conference, reevaluation of your placement in the elective course.
Class Schedule

Class will meet (mostly) on Monday and Thursdays until March 12
Assignments will be due at the beginning of each class.
Classes will usually follow the schedule of
A warm up writing exercise
A close reading and discussion
A viewing or listening to a performance
An in-class assignment
A share
A critique


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