Last week, a shortened version of Langston Hughes’ beautiful poem was featured in an ad to promote Bel Air, a dramatized update of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air on Peacock:

Want to turn this pop culture moment into a deeper appreciation of poetry in general and Langston Hughes in particular? My “Mother to Son” poetry analysis tools will help:

You could expand the compare/contrast media elements by asking students to also listen to this Viola Davis-voiced version featured in a school project that Nalyd Salad posted to YouTube:

After reading the original, viewing the Bel Air ad, and listening to Viola Davis, I’d ask students to note the differences between the three. Which version do they prefer? Why?

Thanks to the High School ELA Teachers Support Group on Facebook, and specifically members K. Lang Eoff and C. Roberts, for the heads-up on these awesome video supplements. 

Stairs image licensed via Canva Pro.

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American literture, high school English, lesson plan, middle school, poetry, Uncategorized


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