Challenge III is the year when students really delve into the study of poetry. From reading the great plays of Shakespeare to composing their own poems, Challenge III students consider, pursue, and discuss truth, goodness, and beauty amidst rhyme and rhythm. If you are a Challenge III Director or parent, encourage your students to present the poetry they have written throughout the year at a Poetry Café!
What is Poetry Café?
A Poetry Café is an optional, end-of-semester event for Classical Conversations members in Challenge III. Popular among many international communities, it’s a chance for students to showcase the poetry they have written throughout the year to their peers, families, and sometimes friends, neighbors, other members of their local community.
3 Reasons Why You Should Host a Poetry Café
Here are just several of many reasons why you may want to consider hosting a Poetry Café this year with your local Classical Conversations community:
1. Celebrate the Students
The first reason why you should consider hosting a Poetry Café is to honor the hard work and creativity of your Challenge III students. They’ve earned this celebration!
This year, from reading Shakespeare’s plays like Hamlet, Macbeth, and Julius Caesar to studying The Roar on the Other Side, Challenge III students learn about the skills that make a great poet. Practicing what they’ve studied, they compose a variety of different types of poems throughout the course of two semesters.
Poetry Café serves as an opportunity for the students to practice Delivery (the last of the Five Canons of Rhetoric) and to enjoy the work of their peers in community.
2. Connect With Your Community
But Poetry Café can be much more than a typical poetry reading. The beauty of this event is that you can make it whatever you want it to be. Drink coffee, eat desserts, play games, or watch a film adaptation of a Shakespeare play — these are just a few examples of ways to make this event more exciting than your average end-of-year project.
Plus, you can open this event up to your entire Classical Conversations community, inviting families and students in Foundations, Essentials, and the other Challenge levels. Of course, attendance doesn’t have to stop there. Feel free to invite your neighbors, grandparents, and friends too!
3. Have Fun
Most importantly, Poetry Café is meant to be fun. One of the benefits of homeschooling is that students don’t have to be cooped up in a classroom all day long and that parents have the freedom and flexibility to put on events like Poetry Café with other homeschool families outside of “normal school.”
One Challenge III Director from Alabama was fortunate to host her Poetry Café at a local coffee shop back in November 2021. With fellow Classical Conversations community members and other families interested in homeschooling, they drank coffee, played games, read and listened to the students’ poetry, acted out Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and listened to classical music.
Although it can be graded if parents want, the point of Poetry Café is to be a fun, engaging event that your entire community can enjoy.
Host a Poetry Café in Challenge III
If you’re a Challenge III Director, ask your parents and student if they would be interested in participating in a Poetry Café at the end of the semester. If you’re a parent of a Challenge III student, then introduce the idea to your child’s Director. We hope your community has a blast attending and participating in your local Poetry Café!
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