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Older Readers: Poems about the Spirit
Older Readers: Poems about the Spirit DISCUSSION GUIDE
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  The discussion guide below is divided into two parts: (1) IMITATION and (2) DISCUSSION exercises. Teachers can use the imitation exercises to encourage students to write their own poems or stories. The discussion exercises are intended to spark students to think about applying the ideas in the poems to their own lives.  
  11. Confession Rhythm & Dues  
Write a praise poem for your favorite musical instrument—or for your favorite sound. Write what it means to you and what the instrument or sound does for you. If writing about a musical instrument, write a line or two that conveys what it sounds like.

This would be an opportunity to share with students the history of the drum in American life: its importance during slavery, the way it helped revolutionize the nation’s music arts, and how, through its development by African American musicians, the modern use of the drum became one of the most distinctive elements of the various musical styles that originated in the United States over the last century.

  65. Praying The Sun Is On  
Write a poem that is an imitation of talking to yourself. You could combine more than one “talking to myself” moment into a single poem (or story).

Talk about the power of self-reflection, and how it can help a person overcome dependence on having emotional reactions to the ups and downs of life. Students can come up with examples of each type of response (self-reflection versus emotional outbursts) and consider the usefulness (or appropriateness), or lack thereof, of each response.