Troubadour’s mission is to improve student literacy and academic achievement in underserved Massachusetts schools through poetry, song lyrics and prose. We empower teachers with dynamic strategies to strengthen instructional practice in the literary arts.
Troubadour engages students in:
Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving
Supporting inference, analysis, and evaluation of big ideas.
Program example: For a unit on the American Revolution, elementary students write ballads about the driving force for change that led the Patriots to throw tea into Boston Harbor.
Supporting the writing process: identify a topic, research and explore options, develop original ideas, get feedback, revise, refine, and perform.
Program example: For a unit on Langston Hughes, elementary or secondary students investigate connections between Blues music and Hughes’ Blues poems, and write letters to the poet and original poems that relate to Hughes’ themes and techniques.
Supporting comprehension of complex texts, including vocabulary development and interpretation of themes, sense imagery, figurative language, voice, mood, structure, and rhyming and sound patterns in various literary genres.
Program example: For a unit on the Civil Rights Movement, secondary students write poems and prose to learn how language is used for different purposes and audiences, e.g., creative expression, description, explanation, and persuasion.
Social and Cross-Cultural Competencies
Working with curriculum content and real world problems, drawing on the different cultures and perspectives of students to develop innovative and creative solutions.
Program example: For a unit on Traditions and Cultures, elementary students celebrate diversity through songs, poems, and writing/singing exercises drawn from Troubadour’s audio CD and curriculum, Where I Come From! Songs and Poems from Many Cultures.
Working with students to leverage the intelligence of groups and multiple perspectives.
Program example: For a unit on Native American Culture, elementary students co-write a song about the Wampanoag tribe after working in teams to research the language, history, religion, beliefs, values, and culture of the tribe.
Presenting exhibitions and performances of student products.
Program example: Stage an Emerging Writers Festival, at which students display and perform poetry, prose and songs created during a Troubadour Writers’ Residency.