Working on ‘Slam’ in German and English lessons

Nico Herzog

© Eva Korb
It can be somewhat difficult to work on poetry in class with students. However, the enormous success of Poetry Slam illustrates how young people do appreciate poetry when it is interpreted in an active and lively fashion. It is worth noting that a number of Slammers are less than twenty years old and, because of this, in the past few years several competitions for under-20s have been held.

Slammers use themes from their lives, and students can connect relatively easily with the thoughts and feelings expressed by these young up and coming poets. Furthermore, they employ everyday language and rhyming is not obligatory.

© Eva KorbWhen working with Slam Poetry it is important to note that production of text takes priority over understanding — the aim is to encourage the learner to create and present a text. Free interpretation of a text is an extremely important skill and helps students in a number of different contexts. 

In this section you will find specially created texts for use in both English and German language lessons. These texts help to encourage listening skills, as well as practicing specific sentence structures; at the same time, your students will be learning to experiment with body language and the voice. Slam poetry makes presenting a text in a group, and without notes, a positive experience.

© Eva Korb

As part of an interdisciplinary project, the slam texts can be projected through video clips. By combining literature and media, the students are encouraged to also use their IT skills.

Slam Poetry
© Eva Korb
  • is easily integrated into class work.
  • trains the 4 key skills: reading, writing, listening and oral.
  • can be applied to all levels.
  • is well suited for classes with students of different levels.
  • encourages students to use language in a creative and independent fashion.
  • makes students realise their capabilities.
  • allows for change, motivates students, and

increases the desire for oral expression.

We wish to thank Madame Paccalini (German) et Madame Liabeuf (English) from the College ASA Paulini in Anse (Académie of Lyon) and the students of 4eme for granting us permission to use their texts and videos. We would also like to thank ‘Les Editions Didier’ for allowing us to publish material from their textbooks ‘Enjoy English in 4ème’ and ‘Spontan 2’.

If you like to find out more about the workshops of Bas Böttcher: