Enrich student learning and creativity using MY HERO curated resources, including short films illustrating poems.
Amanda Gorman, America's First Youth Poet Laureate
"For there was always light. If only we're brave enough to see it. If only we're brave enough to be it."
On Inauguration Day, January 20, 2021, America’s first Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman delivered her original poem "The Hill We Climb" after the swearing in of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Students can listen as they read Amanda Gorman's poem "The Hill We Climb".
Students read this story about Amanda Gorman to learn more about how Amanda used lyrical poetry to help overcome a speech impediment.
The text to her poem "The Hill We Climb" is included.
Students are invited to submit their poems to the Mattie J. T. Stepanek Poetry Contest. The deadline is April 1.
Classroom Activity - Poetic Cinema - How Would You Illustrate a Poem
The following films celebrate poetic cinema. Films and poetry have a connection because of their use of images, sound, and time. As you watch these films made by both professionals and high school students, consider the techniques used by filmmakers to bring out these elements in poetry. After viewing these films, students will be inspired by a wide variety of poetic cinema examples.
This can serve as a springboard to assign students the task of illustrating a poem. Giving them the choice to write an original poem and then illustrate it, or find an existing poem that they love and illustrate that.
The High School films were made as a class assignment in the Taft Media Program.
BEST OF FEST WINNER in the 2018 MY HERO International Film Festival! A visual and musical interpretation of American poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou’s electrifying poem "Still I Rise."
An inspiring poem about the border fence that meets the sea, where names become prayers and where “the worst place to be is here and not there.” By the current Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles, Sophie Kim.
Taft High School student, Matthew Marroquin, takes on the task of illustrating this poem by Robert Frost.
Taft High School student, Deana Saito, creates a beautiful visual expression of the poem by William Wordsworth.
After viewing these films ask the following questions to create a dialogue or have students provide written answers.
1. Which of these films evoked the most emotion in you? Why?
2. What cinematic techniques might be useful for evoking emotion?
3. How do the images used in these illustrated poems strengthen the meaning of the poem? How do they lessen it?
4. Is poetry visual by nature? Are some poems a stronger choice for illustrating with visuals? Why?
5. How have the filmmakers emphasized the story of the poem?
6. If you were to illustrate a poem, which poem would you choose? Why? How would you approach a project like this?
7. Illustrate your favorite poem or an original poem.
Films | Poetry Recitals
New Visions Foundation founder, Paul Cummins, reads Robert Frost at the MY HERO poetry and jazz SALON 4/18/13.
David Milch Reads The Eulogy of Wild Bill Hickok from Deadwood at The MY HERO Project's 2015 Jazz and Poetry Salon.
Olivia Milch Reads Wild Geese by Mary Oliver at The MY HERO Project's 2015 Jazz and Poetry Salon.
Students are encouraged to read aloud an original poem or a favorite poem and film the poetry reading to submit to MY HERO through the Create Program.
Additional examples of MY HERO Poetry on Screen - Celebrating Poetry in Film
The MY HERO Project is inviting you to submit a video of yourself reading a poem that speaks to this new era we are in. It can be poetry of dissent, poetry of resistance or poetry that lifts us up to face these times. It can be feminist, inclusive or humorous. It can be a song. If you are a more ambitious filmmaker, The MY HERO Project is adding a new prize to The MY HERO International Film Festival, Poetry on Screen. The award will honor a filmmaker for the best translation of poetry to film.
Celebrate and Learn about Poets with Hero Essays, Artwork, Short Films and Audio
After students complete their poetry unit, they are encouraged to learn more about their favorite poet and share his/her story with MY HERO using the Create Program.
Mattie Stepanek: For Our World Mattie's poems of peace and hope have touched millions of lives.
Mattie Stepanek is a hero to people of all ages around the world. [This story is also available in Spanish and French.]
Langston Hughes was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist from Joplin, Missouri.
Emily Barasch Reads Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas at The MY HERO Project's 2015 Jazz and Poetry Salon.
Phillis Wheatley was the first distinguished African-American poet. Story has text with audio so students can listen as they read along.
Students are encouraged to write a story about or create a portrait of a favorite poet to submit to MY HERO through the Create Program.
Artists portray their favorite poet heroes.
"And, as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name."
~ William Shakespeare
The Poetry Month lesson plan was created by MY HERO Education Outreach Director Laura Nietzer.
Outstanding essays submitted to MY HERO will be considered for a certificate/t-shirt prize or be featured on the Story Homepage.
Students can submit their films for free with a waiver to the MY HERO International Film Festival.
Links to Additional Poetry Resources and Lesson Plans
Organizer created on 3/12/2019 11:56:45 AM by Xenia Shin
Last edited 3/1/2023 11:35:15 AM by Laura Nietzer