Resources for Schools
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“Who knows but I am enjoying this? Who knows, for all the distance, but I am as good as looking at you now, for all you cannot see me?”
Crossing Brooklyn Ferry

 

Among other intentions, Happy Birthday, Walt Whitman is designed to introduce a new generation of students to Walt Whitman. We encourage teachers and students alike to participate in our year-long project, and have included resources here for those looking for suggestions and further information to assist in classroom discussions. But above all, we encourage you to create your own response to Whitman, whether it's reading the poem out loud in your class, at a school assembly, at your local public library, or in collaboration with a local arts organization.  

Enjoy your yawp!

 

Grade Schools

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For grade school teachers wanting to participate in Happy Birthday, Walt Whitman we suggest looking at the wonderful book Poetry for Kids: Walt Whitman. Edited by Whitman scholar Karen Karbiener, and beautifully illustrated by Kate Evans, the book is ideal for grades 3-8. Young scholars may not sit still for an entire reading of Crossing Brooklyn Ferry but this engaging and easy to follow book offers a shortened version of the poem that introduces readers to its main themes.

PDF Download: Ideas, suggestions, and classroom discussion guides are included in this Grade School Guide (coming) for teachers and students participating in HBWW. 

 

Middle and High Schools

Teachers of high school english, history, or poetry classes and clubs looking for ways to celebrate the Whitman bicentennial are ideal participate for Happy Birthday, Walt Whitman. In addition to introducing students to the Bard of Brooklyn students will experience the thrill of partaking in a nation-wide project that their peers around the country will also be participating in. Teachers and students can contribute to the project by uploading photos and videos of their readings to our Facebook and Instagram pages. For high school Art teachers we offer and encourage ideas for creative projects — stop-action videos, short films, drawings, or paintings. High school creative writing or poetry teachers can encourage their students to write their own Whitman-inspired poetry, learning from experience how Whitman turned the norms of the day upside down and created the first examples of modern Free Verse poetry. English teachers could even produce an interdisciplinary approach to the project, collaborating with philosophy, science and US history in an exploration of how Whitman's influences.

Classes following our social media feeds can learn from and be inspired by projects other students around the country are creating as part of their own HBWW projects. 

PDF Download: Ideas, suggestions, and classroom discussion guides are included in this Middle School and High School Guide (coming) for teachers and students participating in HBWW. 

 

Colleges

Teachers of college English and History classes, Poetry clubs — looking for ways to celebrate the Whitman bicentennial are ideal participate for Happy Birthday, Walt Whitman. In addition to introducing students to the Bard of Brooklyn students will experience the thrill of participating in a nation-wide project that their peers around the country will also be participating in. Teachers and students can not only participate in the project but can contribute to it by uploading photos and videos of their readings to our Facebook and Instagram pages. English teachers could produce an interdisciplinary approach to the project, collaborating with philosophy, science and US history teachers in an exploration of Whitman's influences.

Classes following our social media feeds can learn from and be inspired by projects other students around the country are creating as part of their own HBWW projects. 

PDF Download: Ideas, suggestions, and classroom discussion guides are included in this College Guide (coming) for teachers and students participating in HBWW.