Poetry and Social Studies
Creative writing is the cornerstone of culture. Whether studying a unit on Ancient History or discovering the intricacies of modern cultures, poetry is an essential link.
Cultures around the world have epic poems that give amazingly detailed descriptions of their history through the adventures of the epic hero. In addition, historic story poems were recited by traveling bards to instruct others, give the news of the day and entertain the royals. The details found within epic and story poems often give students a first-hand look at history, as people who lived during the times described wrote many of the stories.
Teachers, after having the class read and analyze an epic/story poem, can have students work in groups to create their own poem related to the unit studied. Analysis of the poem leads the way to critical thinking, a tool necessary for students in studying social sciences and the humanities.
For example: The classic poem, "Old Ironsides" by Oliver Wendell Holmes can be used to discuss the role of patriotism in the early history of the United States, as well as, how ships were constructed during the 1800s, and the significance of the name, "Old Ironsides."