AJ Student takes top School and District Poetry Outloud honors for 2nd year

If We Must Die
by Claude McKay

If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs
Making their mock at our accursed lot
If we must die, O let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
O kinsmen! we must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, Dying, but fighting back!


Taylor Wade

For the second year, Taylor Wade has won the School and District Poetry Outloud competition. Poetry Outloud is a poetry recitation contest that has local, state, and national contests. More than just reading a poem, the students have to memorize their poems, and use tone and inflection appropriate to the authors intent. This means the student must research the poem and poet.

The students are judges on 5 different aspects, Physical Presence, Voice and Articulation, Dramatic Appropriateness, Evidence of Understanding, and Overall Performance. Each aspect can earn a 1-6 score, and produce a score maximum of 33 points. Accuracy of presentation score can add up to 8 additional points, for a maximum of 41 points.

The Poetry Outloud process has met NCTE English Language Arts Standards, and Common Core Standards. AJ High School Drama teacher Katrina Bernsdorff and School Poetry Outloud coordinator is proud of each student who participated.  This year’s participants were Taylor Wade, Gabe Reeves, Shyasia McIlwain, Ty’Juan Reyes,  Oniah Papillion, Alex Campbell, Katie McBride, Owen Broadway and Chelsea Johnson.

For more information go to www.poetryoutloud.org

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