2 Food for Bonding, Food for Resistance

Authors: Mary Beth Cancienne, Hayes Davis, Teri Cross Davis, Brian Hannon, TJ Hendrix

Target Group: Middle School (7th-8th grade)

About the Unit

This is a three-day poetry unit for 7th and 8th grade learners. The lessons have been planned for 90-minute blocks but can be broken up into 45-minute blocks. They can be taught together or separately as a one-or two-day workshop.

Common Core Standards (7th and 8th grade)*

Text Complexity

  • Read and comprehend poems. (7)

Craft and Structure

  • Determine an author’s purpose in a text. (7)

Vocabulary Acquisition and Use (7 and 8)

  • Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings (interpret figurative language).
  • Gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

Range of Writing (7 and 8)

  • Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Comprehension and Collaboration (7 and 8)

  • Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse groups or teams on grade 7 and 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

* Please note that this language comes directly from state/national standards

By engaging with Black poetry, the students will:


  • A poet uses poetic devices to capture experience.
  • A poet arranges words to create meaning in a poem.
  • A poet uses poetic devices to create meaning in a poem.
  • Participation in group discussions provides an opportunity to learn from others, including unique viewpoints.


  • Identify and discuss an author’s purpose (theme) in a poem.
  • Examine poetic devices and structure, such as imagery, sensory details, repetition, alliteration, enjambment, and caesura and how they add meaning to the message of the poem (author’s purpose).
  • Interpret information presented in diverse media formats.
  • Compare and contrast poems.


  • Modeling the structural form of either poem, write a poem using imagery, sensory details, and repetition.
  • Revise using the writing process (first and second drafts, revision and editing, and peer reviews).





“Bread Pudding Grandmamma” by Darrel Alejandro Holnes





Nourishment: individual (emotional, spiritual, physical)

Maternal love

Sensory details





Speakers other than the protagonist (multiple voices)


“My Resistance is Black” by DéLana R.A. Dameron

Nourishment: A Movement

Maternal love



Unsung heroes: people working behind the scenes




Prose Poem



Food for Bonding (Day One)

Poem: “Bread Pudding Grandmamma” by Darrel Alejandro Holnes (Furious Flower 2019, pp. 47-48)


Additional Materials

Food for Resistance (Day Two)

Poem: “My Resistance is Black” by DéLana R.A. Dameron (Furious Flower 2019, p. 187)


Food for Bonding & Food for Resistance (Day Three)

Poems: My Resistance is Black” by DéLana R.A. Dameron, “Bread Pudding Grandmamma” by Darrel Alejandro Holnes


Options for Differentiation

Prompting Questions for Student Engagement

Student Interview Exercise


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The Furious Flower Syllabus Project: Opening the World of Black Poetry Copyright © 2024 by Anastacia-Reneé; allia abdullah-matta; Ariana Benson; Mary Beth Cancienne; Teri Ellen Cross Davis; Shameka Cunningham; Hayes Davis; Tyree Daye; Angel C. Dye; Brian Hannon; T.J. Hendrix; DaMaris B. Hill; Meta DuEwa Jones; Shauna M. Morgan; Adrienne Danyelle Oliver; Leona Sevick; James Smethurst; Dana A. Williams; L. Lamar Wilson; Carmin Wong; Dave Wooley; and Joanne V. Gabbin (preface) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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