Desdamona – MC, Poet, and Teaching Artist


Objectives: Desdamona writes poems that are not just meaningful to her, but are also important issues to many.  She also teaches young women to become poets like her by having them practice creating their own poems using the foundation of well-known nursery rhymes to help them get started.  In this activity, poems will be created using a nursery rhyme you know from your own childhood about something important to you (ex: bullying, pollution, identity, etc).

Tools/Resources: MN Original video clip, 4 well-known nursery rhymes (audio reading helps), pen/pencil and paper.

1) Watch the segment and discuss:

a. How does poetry tell a deeper story?

b. Why would using poems be a more meaningful way of talking about an important topic?

c. Desdamona recommends that when writing poetry, the writer should “not be afraid to get something on the page”. What does she mean by this? Why is it important to remember this when writing poetry?

2) Brainstorm:

a. Think of songs or rhymes you are familiar with – what are they?

b. What are some important issues to you in your community and lives?

c. Working with a partner or alone, pick a nursery rhyme or song, then write poetry that would match the pacing of the original song/nursery rhyme.

3) Create:

a. Create your own nursery rhyme/song about a problem/issue in your community/life.

b. Once completed, practice reading aloud to perform in front of class (optional).

For information on the academic standards fulfilled by this activity download the full guide.

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