Poem of the Day: “THE RULES NO. 1 + NO. 2” by Jason Reynolds

April is National Poetry Month! This is the first year I’m celebrating National Poetry Month in my classroom. Each day I’m sharing the poems my students and I read, along with prompts and resources.

Share your thinking about these two poems from Jason Reynolds’s 2017 novel Long Way Down by annotating the poems and/or responding to one of the prompts.

  • How does the poem connect to you / your life? Why? How?
  • What rule(s) would you add to these rules utilizing the same structure / meaning?
  • What do you notice about the two poems? Explain the importance of these noticings. 

I did make an editorial choice to include both poems on the same page. In Long Way Down “THE RULES NO.1: CRYING” is on page 31 and “NO.2: SNITCHING” is on page 32. I attempted to maintain where on the respective page each poem was placed.

Upon opening the Google Doc on their devices some students did not identify the poems as what they needed to read. I think this is because of the format and length of each poem. After clarifying on an individual basis, I think we should be good to go moving forward.

I’m looking to build on these two poems tomorrow, so check back to see how I do so.

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