Grand slam

Lab's "poet-in-residence" led a poetry workshop in one of Lab's seventh-grade humanities classes when one student wrote a poem about having long hair. "A fierce, amazing poem where he claimed his identity in a really nuanced way—very mature and brave for a seventh grader." The student subsequently read the poem at Lab's Diversity Day and listener's wept.

The poet-in-residence works with teachers to make sure his work supports their lesson plans, like a workshop on civil disobedience, tying it to Romantic ideals.

A seventh-grade unit on identity ties to Gene Luen Yang's graphic novel American Born Chinese and draws from the Young Chicago Authors curriculum, "What It's Like to Be (Me)." For an eighth-grade unit on the idea of America, students read Langston Hughes' poem, "Let America Be America Again," before working on their own poetic self-expression.

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