Snap Judgment
Storytelling.With a beat.
Links are in blue (followed links in purple). Information is in black. Instructions are in green. Headings and accented information are in brown.

What is Snap Judgment?
Ok, so this is my sneaky way to get you doing performance poetry and not call it that. When you think of performance poetry maybe something like this comes to mind:

Share with us now in one word what comes to your mind in this TodaysMeet room:

By the end of this unit this is what will come to mind:
female1.jpg male1.jpg female2.jpg male2.jpg
Share with us one word about these images that make them more powerful than the first image in this Today'sMeet room.

Poetry should be honest, personal, confronting, and powerful. Poetry does not need to be about glorious sunsets and twittering birds. Poetry was designed to be delivered out loud and deeply affect listeners.

Snap Judgment is the title of a storytelling radio show (check it out here) focused on presenting compelling personal stories, accompanied by music. These stories are about defining moments in people's lives, and they are honest, personal, confronting, and powerful.

Can I listen to / see examples?
  • You can check out their YouTube channel.
  • You can go to the website (I had trouble with playback, but most of the performances have a transcript you can read).
  • You can subscribe to their podcast.
  • You can listen to their radio show.

Here are a couple of great stories to get you inspired. Watch all four of these videos. After each viewing write your response to it in this google doc:
A moment of fear (15 year old performer)

Write your response to it in this google doc.
A moment of belonging (organiser of snap judgement)

Write your response to it in this google doc.
A moment of triumph (to show you your story can be simple)

Write your response to it in this google doc.
A moment of regret (to show you the power of knowing the point of your story)

Write your response to it in this google doc.

From outside of Snap Judgment here are some more inspirational performance poets. Watch at least three of these videos (all six if you can):
Sarah Kay's If I Should Have A Daughter

Write your response to it in this google doc.
Andrea Gibson's Birthday

Write your response to it in this google doc.
Lily Myers' Shrinking Women

Write your response to it in this google doc.
Taylor Mali's What Teachers Make

Write your response to it in this google doc.
Shane Koyczan's To This Day

Write your response to it in this google doc.
Gary Turk's Look Up

Write your response to it in this google doc.
Ernestine Johnson's The Average Black Girl

Write your response to it in this google doc.
Clint Smith The Danger Of Silence

How do I create my own Snap Judgment?
First come up with a moment you will base your story on. In that moment there will be conflict and you will have something to lose. To work out if your idea is right for Snap Judgment use this flow chart. Find out more about how to structure your Snap Judgment in this document:
Put your decisions on the google doc.

Second write your first draft, then engage in the class drafting exercises to improve your work. Now that you have the skeleton of your piece you must craft the storytelling so that it becomes compelling. Have a look at the tips in this document: Your final product will be between 3 and 5 minutes.

Third rehearse your work until you know it inside out, but are not repeating it word for word. This rehearsal includes practising all the performance aspects we discuss in class, such as varying the intensity of your delivery and using dramatic pauses.

Fourth get up, be loud, be proud, and say it like you mean it. Don't forget your histrionics (exaggerated emotional behaviour calculated for effect).

Homework Tuesday Week 4: Watch this video (10:47) and then fill in this google form(super quick).
Homework Tuesday Week 5: Complete this google form.

Do you have any more inspiration and information?
  • Read Emilie Zoey Baker's fantastic blog post that defends slam poetry as a valid form of poetry. She asks, "Why can't poetry be loud and brash, delivered with passion and energy, readily understood, thought-provoking and entertaining all at once?" Nearpod

Now what do I do with my Snap Judgment?
Snap Judgment
Snap Judgment are always after more stories. You can record it, write it, or videotape it and put it up on their website. You'll need to create an account (it's free and you don't get spam). If there's a good response to your story they may chose your story to air on their show.

Australian Poetry Slam
"Speak, scream, howl, whisper even sing your poems, stories, lyrics, and monologues in the Australian Poetry Slam." Poetry slam is a live literary performance competition. Heats are held across Australia, and finalists head off to Sydney to compete. Find out more about it on the website and Facebook site. The grand final prize is amazing!
  • CJ Bowerbird won in 2012. Read about his Australian Poetry Slam adventure here.
  • Luka Lesson won in 2011. He has a new spoken word and hip hop album out. Take a look here.

Feedback From Our Special Guests:
“Very heart-warming, compelling & inspiring stories. It was emotionally touching & challenging. It became so apparent that everyone has a story & a struggle, and you shouldn’t discount them. I will definitely look at people differently.”

“The sheer amount of emotion that each and every student portrayed during their oral presentation was simply shocking. I enjoyed each presentation quite a lot, especially Max’s rap which I was not fully certain how to feel about considering the serious topic and humorous presentation. Loved it.”

“Everything was heartfelt. All the poems were genuine and from the heart and I could tell that very clearly. It was obviously challenging for everyone, and every person dealt with it different and well. All the poems were good.”

"I loved it. I thought it was really powerful and a good way to express your feelings. I thought it was emotional and good topics were chosen."

"The class did very well and all the stories were interesting. I was particularly captivated by some. It sounded like most people put a lot of work into their stories. I was particularly impressed with some people's presentation and performance skills. It would have taken a lot of time and hard work to have remembered the whole story. I was really able to connect with them and they were very comfortable on the stage. I am glad I came to watch this as it was very moving and I learnt things about people I hadn’t known before."

"As individuals they would have learnt and grown through the experience. They also would have gained an understanding into how others feel and what life is like for their classmates in different situations; they gave each other a sneak peak into their souls. I was amazed at every student for getting up on that stage and under the spotlight, delivering their poems/speeches. That was very brave! I was completely blown away by some of them and as you did, I too, shed tears for their stories. The richness of their language was expressed honestly and I felt privileged to be a part of it."