Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Allen Webb

Second Advisor

Elisabeth Spinner

Third Advisor

Adrienne Redding


poetry, curriculum, critical inquiry, worldview, mentor text, English language arts


By providing today’s high school students with a multimodal curriculum centered around critical inquiry, worldview, personal relevance, and by providing students will many opportunities to respond to these principles with their own writings, students will be empowered to engage with their learning and the world in meaningful and intentional ways. Empower! poetry curriculum is designed to help students ask questions about themselves, their immediate surroundings and influences, and about the world around them. Students will be encouraged to take the time and energy for deeper thinking and reflection as they engage with the activities of Empower! While there will be aspects of traditional poetry analysis, the goal of Empower! is to cultivate student voice and inquiry. Students will explore poetry and songs crafted by a diverse body of contemporary multicultural writers whose works explore relevant real-world issues that our students often face today. The works students explore will serve as mentor texts, enabling students to read poetry as writers of poetry and aiding their creative reading and writing skills. This scaffolded multimodal curriculum can be used as a devoted six-week poetry study or each unit can supplement existing English Language Arts (ELA) literary studies. Empower! is housed on its own website where accompanying and supplementary poetry resources are available for teachers and students.

Full access to Empower! Poetry Curriculum, associated research, and resources are available at or at

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access