Jennifer Atkinson

Cunningham Elementary School
Austin, TX

Project Description:

“Poetry Slam” is the winning project developed by Atkinson for third-grade students at Cunningham Elementary School. The yearlong project is designed to be an academic and artistic adventure for students and generate a powerful connection between the academic requirements of the school district and the school’s expectations of the students’ art and creativity. Each month, a Poetry Slam will be held where students at Cunningham Elementary School will have the opportunity to share their work with their class, teacher, and other students in their school. They will investigate poets and complete projects that will become part of a yearlong exhibit in the school library. In addition, the students will research, recognize and use poetic devices, read poetry, and author their own poetry. Through the program, students will have the opportunity to improve their speaking and presentation skills as well as develop other items such as original music pieces, artwork, and costumes to accompany their work. Atkinson, who lives in Austin, hopes the program will help build classroom community, expand students’ vocabulary, promote speaking skills, and foster a wide range of academic creativity among the students and the school.