What is Tang Poetry-a new experience for your students that they can easily master with Teaching Artist Tom Lee. With close reading and thoughtful writing students will  create poems expressing their own observations of nature and their sense of connection with the natural world.

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About the Artist

Tom Lee has been a professional storyteller for twenty years and has performed for thousands of students in hundreds of classrooms. Tom is a fellow with the Connecticut Writing Project, based at the University of Connecticut and a frequent guest artist with The Metropolitan Museum of Art , the Yale Center for British Art and the University of Pennsylvania Museum. In addition to his educational programs, Tom performs publicly in theaters and in festivals throughout New England. His programs have been featured on National Public Radio and on BBC-TV.

The artsVoyage residencies offer programs which work across the curriculum to enhance3 learning in literacy, language arts, social studies and visual arts.  Residency topics include Artists and Botanists, Language and Landscape, Imaging Venice, The Connecticut River in the 1637 and New York City in 1980.

Writing in the Style of Scholars-Discover Chinese Poetry

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The Tang Dynasy (618-907) is often called China’s “Golden Age,” when art and literature flourished as never before, and poetry blossomed into new splendor.

Storyteller Tom Lee brings the poetic traditions of the Tang Dynasty to life in classroom workshops for students in Grades 3-12. Students are introduced to “jue jue” poetry, the classical four-line form which the great poet-scholars of China used to reflect on the world. Using authentic Tang Poems as mentor texts, students engage in close reading and thoughtful writing to create poems expressing their own observations of nature and their sense of connection with the natural world.

The residency’s design is richly cross-curricular, developing skills in Language Arts, Writing, Visual Literacy, and Social History. Over four classroom sessions, students will read and discuss Tang poems, view Chinese calligraphy and nature paintings, and use critical thinking to write reflectively. Each student will write and revise poetry in the “jue jue” style, using robust vocabulary and colorful, descriptive language. The residency also includes a staff development session. Teachers will explore the historical and cultural background of Tang Dynasty Poetry, and strategies for the residency.

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Mentor Texts The Language & Landscape Residency

Note: The “Language & Landscape” residency is appropriate for all students in grades 3-12.  The selection of mentor texts used varies according to age level, but the methodology is designed to engage and inspire learners of all ages.

The classic anthology of Tang Dynasty poetry is the collection “300 Tang Poems.”  The poetry in this collection in still widely known in China today, and many of the poems are taught to Chinese children of elementary school age.

The Language and Landscape residency uses a selection of four line, “jue-jue”poems.  These poems contain only twenty characters, in four lines of five characters each. During the residency, students will read and hear a number of poems, exploring the original Chinese characters, as well as literary translations.

Because the nature of Tang poetry is at once quite concrete and profoundly abstract, students at all levels of proficiency are able to enjoy reading and writing in the Tang style. In the language of the CCSS, Tom Lee will “match the reader to the text and the task.”

(May be a residency at a single school or at several schools on adjacent days)
One days…………………………… $    1175
Two days…………………………… $ 2185
Three days………………………….. $ 3050
Four days………………………….. $ 3765
Five days………………………….. $ 4345

Per days……………………………. $    600

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