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'Knights of Poetry' reveals budding poets among middle schoolers
Posted 02/26/2016 03:51PM



They came, and 59 poems they read.

Some recited rhyme. All had a good time.

Others were very happy to be fed

Cookies and lots of creativity,

During an evening of expressivity.


Welcome to Knights of Poetry at ACS!

About 75 Grade 6, 7, and 8 students spent the evening of February 25 performing poetry that included their own works and well-known classics by Dr. Seuss, Robert Frost or other famous poets.

Students, parents, teachers and staff gathered in the ACS upper school auditorium to listen to middle schoolers expressing their creativity and appreciation of poetry. It was a full house.

“This was a wonderful evening where students got the opportunity to show the ACS community what they had learned and show the talents that they possess,” said Grade 6 and 7 English teacher Daniel Saint James, one of the main organizers of the event. “It was a night full of beauty through the spoken word.

All students in Middle School are currently exploring poetry in their English classes. 

“Knights of Poetry is used as a complementary activity to the Middle School English Language Arts poetry unit, which occurs simultaneously in the grades 6, 7, and 8 curriculums at this time of year,” said Middle School English Department Chair and Grade 8 English teacher Claire Chalhoub. “It’s a chance to give our students an alternative way to express their creative and critical thinking, and for us teachers and parents, an opportunity to see the poetic side of students who can really shine at this event.”

And shine they did.

Some 32 sixth graders performed 28 poems; 28 seventh graders performed 23 poems, and 15 eighth graders performed eight poems. Some students participated in group performances.

Of course, the butterflies made their presence felt. But the students overcame any stage fright and put on impressive performances.

“There were so many people there! I didn’t realize there would be that many,” said seventh grader Jad G. “But once I got up there, it was great to share a poem that I had worked so hard on.”

“It was definitely a nerve racking experience,” said eighth grader Kinda M. “It isn’t easy to get up in front of a full auditorium and share a piece that you wrote. You are really putting a part of yourself out there for everyone to see.”

“I’ve never spoken in front of that many people before,” said first-time performer sixth grader Giovanna G. “I almost froze up, but I didn’t!”

In the end, the students wowed parents and teachers alike.

“[Along with last night’s school concert,] this night was magical,” said Phil Wendel, Middle School Principal. “When you see our students perform on the stage it really opens you up to different sides of their personalities that you don’t always capture in a classroom.”

“It was great how many students participated!” said one Grade 7 parent. “The fact that they got up on stage in front of so many people and shared their personal work was impressive. It was a wonderful night! I am so proud of my son!”

The evening wrapped up with English teacher Daniel Saint James performing the poem "What Teachers Make," by Taylor Mali. (To watch the performance, please click here)


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