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Aesthetic Reading and Writing: Ballad of Birmingham

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In this informative slideshare, uses drawing to explore the Ballad of Birmingham. This is followed by an interpretation of the poem as created by a student for her AP class. At the conclusion of this slideshare are methods to create blackout newspaper poems and found poems using a newspaper account of the Birmingham Church Bombing from September 1963.

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Aesthetic Reading and Writing: Ballad of Birmingham

  1. 1. Visualizing: Ballad of Birmingham Mary Ann Reilly
  2. 2. Task 1. Fold your white art paper into eight boxes and then select a pencil. 2. I will be reading aloud the Dudley Randall’s poem, “Ballad of Birmingham.” 3. I have divided the poem into eight sections. As I read each section, you will sketch the mental picture you see based on each section of the poem as it is read. 4. By the conclusion of the poem, you will have made seven sketches.
  3. 3. Ballad of Birmingham- 1 “Motherdear,mayIgodowntown Insteadofouttoplay, AndmarchthestreetsofBirmingham InaFreedomMarchtoday?”
  4. 4. Ballad of Birmingham- 2 “No, baby, no, you may not go, For the dogs are fierce and wild, And clubs and hoses, guns and jails Aren’t good for a little child.”
  5. 5. Ballad of Birmingham- 3 “But, mother, I won’t be alone. Other children will go with me, And march the streets of Birmingham To make our country free.”
  6. 6. Ballad of Birmingham- 4 “No, baby, no, you may not go, For I fear those guns will fire. But you may go to church instead And sing in the children’s choir.”
  7. 7. Ballad of Birmingham- 5 She has combed and brushed her night-dark hair, And bathed rose petal sweet, And drawn white gloves on her small brown hands, And white shoes on her feet.
  8. 8. Ballad of Birmingham- 6 The mother smiled to know her child Was in the sacred place, But that smile was the last smile To come upon her face.
  9. 9. Ballad of Birmingham- 7 For when she heard the explosion, Her eyes grew wet and wild. She raced through the streets of Birmingham Calling for her child.
  10. 10. Ballad of Birmingham- 8 She clawed through bits of glass and brick, Then lifted out a shoe. “O, here’s the shoe my baby wore, But, baby, where are you?”
  11. 11. Task 2 • Reread the poem and discuss it with your partner. Show your drawings to one another. • Examine your eight drawings and create a final illustration on the new sheet of paper you have been given that combines all or some of the stanza-by-stanza pictures into an image that best represents the meaning of the whole poem. You may use pencil and/or color to render this final drawing. • Post your final image.
  12. 12. Ballad of Birmingham – Dudley Randall “Mother dear, may I go downtown Instead of out to play, And march the streets of Birmingham In a Freedom March today?” “No, baby, no, you may not go, For the dogs are fierce and wild, And clubs and hoses, guns and jails Aren’t good for a little child.” “But, mother, I won’t be alone. Other children will go with me, And march the streets of Birmingham To make our country free.” “No, baby, no, you may not go, For I fear those guns will fire. But you may go to church instead And sing in the children’s choir.” She has combed and brushed her night-dark hair, And bathed rose petal sweet, And drawn white gloves on her small brown hands, And white shoes on her feet. (Continued)
  13. 13. Ballad of Birmingham – Dudley Randall The mother smiled to know her child Was in the sacred place, But that smile was the last smile To come upon her face. For when she heard the explosion, Her eyes grew wet and wild. She raced through the streets of Birmingham Calling for her child. She clawed through bits of glass and brick, Then lifted out a shoe. “O, here’s the shoe my baby wore, But, baby, where are you?”
  14. 14. Task 3 1. With a partner, take a gallery walk of the posted images. 2. Discuss what the final drawings suggest about the poem. What images are common across the gallery? 3. In 10 minutes, be ready to discuss your ideas with the class.
  15. 15. Ballad of Birmingham
  16. 16. Blackout Poem
  17. 17. Create a Poem using newspaper story about Birmingham church bombing. 4/1/2014 Six Dead After Church Bombing Go to special report on church fires Go to National section Six Dead After Church Bombing Blast Kills Four Children; Riots Follow Two Youths Slain; State Reinforces Birmingham Police United Press International September 16, 1963 Birmingham, Sept. 15 -- A bomb hurled from a passing car blasted a crowded Negro church today, killing four girls in their Sunday school classes and triggering outbreaks of violence that left two more persons dead in the streets. Two Negro youths were killed in outbreaks of shooting seven hours after the 16th Street Baptist Church was bombed, and a third was wounded. As darkness closed over the city hours later, shots crackled sporadically in the Negro sections. Stones smashed into cars driven by whites. Five Fires Reported Police reported at least five fires in Negro business establishments tonight. A official said some are being set, including one at a mop factory touched off by gasoline thrown on the building. The fires were brought under control and there were no injuries.
  18. 18. Create a Found Poem using 50 to 100 words from newspaper story about Birmingham church bombing.4/1/2014 Six Dead After Church Bombing Go to special report on church fires Go to National section Six Dead After Church Bombing Blast Kills Four Children; Riots Follow Two Youths Slain; State Reinforces Birmingham Police United Press International September 16, 1963 Birmingham, Sept. 15 -- A bomb hurled from a passing car blasted a crowded Negro church today, killing four girls in their Sunday school classes and triggering outbreaks of violence that left two more persons dead in the streets. Two Negro youths were killed in outbreaks of shooting seven hours after the 16th Street Baptist Church was bombed, and a third was wounded. As darkness closed over the city hours later, shots crackled sporadically in the Negro sections. Stones smashed into cars driven by whites. Five Fires Reported Police reported at least five fires in Negro business establishments tonight. A official said some are being set, including one at a mop factory touched off by gasoline thrown on the building. The fires were brought under control and there were no injuries.

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