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Tutor Tip

Bring Minnesota Poetry into the ABE Classroom

February 2021

Poetry is a powerful way for ABE learners to connect and tell stories. A Minnesota organization, Lyricality, is working to support MN poets and writers, and to connect their work to the greater community.

This comprehensive online guide, created especially for Minnesota-based English Language Instructors by Lyricality for its “Read Poetry 2021" Program, features the poem "Within" by Louise K. Waakaa'igan, accompanied by interdisciplinary resources and activities designed to help instructors facilitate a heart-to-heart connection between their students, a guest poet, and the words of a Minnesota-based Indigenous (Native American) poet, by collaborating in the creation of a communal poem.

The goal of this activity is to bring the unique, individual talents of group members together in collaboration to make a poem that may help them appreciate the wonder, joy and love wrapped up in daily experiences. We want to open their eyes to the important, mysterious truth that although there are superficial differences in our appearances, abilities, thoughts, and opinions, in our essential humanity all of us are very much the same. 

Lyricality offers these resources to MN ABE tutors and teachers—a written copy of the poem, a video of the poet reading the poem, activities list, an easy plan and all the resources needed to implement it—as a way to bring Minnesota poetry into the classroom.

Check out this example of a collaborative poem that was created with this lesson plan, with students at LaCruz Community Center in St. Cloud.

Lyricality’s Mission Statement

We are a Minnesota-based collective of poets, lyricists and patrons with a focused mission: 

  • to support diversity and foster community;
  • to connect Minnesota-based poets and lyricist/songwriters of all skill levels to one another and to new audiences; 
  • to collaborate with existing arts, cultural, and community organizations to offer celebratory and educational events for poets, lyricist/songwriters, and audiences.

Learn more at https://lyricality.org/

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