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The Poetics of Hip Hop

By Theresa Sotto
Analysis of hip hop music and lyrics can provide students with a greater understanding of rhythm, form, diction, and sound in poetry. Students will analyze form in Shakespearean sonnets, then analyze hip hop music to determine common characteristics between the Bard's work and the music of hip hop artists. Students will reinforce their understanding of the connections between hip hop and poetry through close analysis of the works of poets Saul Williams and Nikki Giovanni, and through the creation of their own poetry.

Published by ArtsEdge in 2006

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Curriculum Information For Resource

Grade Level(s):11, 12
Curriculum Areas:Performing Arts
English/Language Arts
Themes/Keywords: Hip Hop

alliteration, assonance, iambic pentameter, poetic meter, slat rhyme

Essential Question(s)
1. How would you describe hip hop to someone who has never heard it before?

Discussion Question(s)
1. What do hip hop and other forms of poetry have in common? How are they different?
2. What is the purpose of different kinds of poetry?

Extension and Activities
1. Challenge your students to write poems in as many forms as possible, sharing their work and discussing the processes they went through as they go.

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San Diego Unified - San Diego, CA

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