Editor’s note: I published this post a year ago, and thought readers would find it helpful if I reposted it.
American poet Langston Hughes was born on February 1st, 1902.
One lesson that I’ve used for years with Intermediate English Language Learners is reading his poem, The Ballad of the Landlord as part of our unit on Problem-Solution essays. After studying the poem, students write a letter to their own landlord (though we obviously don’t send it).
Here’s a video reading of that poem:
The second lesson is a great one that I’ve previously shared by teacher Andrew Kozlowsky using Hughes’ “I, Too” poem. Here are two tweets from him about it (and here’s a guest post he wrote about it):
This episode of @EdsNotDeadPC https://t.co/EVAOQeusOf with @Ready4rigor really inspired me to take more risks with my sheltered ESOL US History class. Tomorrow, I’m having them write their own personal version of Langston Hughes’ “I, Too” poem. Thanks for the inspiration!!! pic.twitter.com/b4thbZ1HiU
— Andrew Kozlowsky (@MrKoz31) December 8, 2017
Had my #ESOL #ELL #ESL students write their own I,Too poems, a la Langston Hughes. Having high expectations for students is the most powerful classroom practice. Just because they are learning English doesn’t mean they don’t have a story to tell!! Blessed to be able to teach them pic.twitter.com/Qnrah8oy5B
— Andrew Kozlowsky (@MrKoz31) December 10, 2017
Here are two videos with Hughes himself reading his poem:
Have you used his work in other ELL lessons?