Morristown, NJ- Students in the fifth grade initiated what they hope to be an annual Poetry Slam at Unity Charter School in Morristown, New Jersey on April 28, 2017.  A Poetry Slam is the spoken performance of free verse, authentic poems.  Poetry Slams first took place as a result of open mic night in the cafés of cities such as New York, San Francisco, and Austin.  Marc Kelly Smith, a Chicago poet   and construction worker, known as “Slampapi “ is usually pointed to as being the founder of the Poetry Slam.  He felt poetry was too academic and stuffy. The first-ever National Poetry Slam took place in 1990, and still goes on nearly thirty years later.Drawing on this tradition, the 5th grade students studied different forms of poetry, analyzed symbolism, and examined the ways in which poets used words in new and exciting ways to craft their poems.  Then, the students started writing, and writing, and writing!  Poetry appeals to many middle school age children because it gives them a way to express their often tumultuous feelings, slowdown from their hectic schedules, and reflect.  Even the most reluctant writer finds success creating poetry.

These poems are being immortalized by the students in Integrated Arts.  Under the instruction of Jen Ketrow, students will learn to use watercolors and calligraphy to illustrate their poems.  These matted, original works of art will be available for purchase on May 11, 2017 at the Artist’s Café at Unity Charter School, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

           Summer Break

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Summer break is over,

Goodbye pools, goodbye sleeping in, goodbye summer you.

I want to get out of my warm, soft bed, but I'm stuck on it like superglue.

Now, it's time for working hard and getting a good grade,

But I’m also really afraid.

I cannot leave my warm, warm bed,

But I am hungry for breakfast, I should be fed.

More math, more reading, more thinking straight.

I gotta get up or I'll be late.

5th Grade Student - Lena