Friday, May 22, 2015

Guest Post: Why I Think This World Should End by Prince Ea

In honor of Earth Day and National Poetry Month, my students and I watched rapper/activist Prince Ea perform his spoken-word poem “Why I Think This World Should End” about the damage humans have done to the environment. Noting the mass destruction of trees to make money, pollution caused by carbon emissions, and the government’s inability to prevent any of it, Prince Ea apologizes to future generations for leaving them a dismal place to live.  Though Prince Ea’s message reveals the brutal reality of the Earth’s decaying state, it also provides hope by reminding viewers that individuals can take action.  My students were moved by the performance, and also alarmed by the new information they received.  One student, T, asked, “If they cut down all the trees, how are we going to survive?” J added, “How are we going to breathe?” Though my students were disturbed by the facts in the video, it prompted them to brainstorm ways they can help save the environment, including recycling, planting trees, car-pooling, taking public transportation, and minimizing their energy use.

I recommend this six-minute video to teachers, especially English teachers, who want to celebrate Earth day with their students. Because this video combines poetry with information about the environment, it serves well as an Earth Day/National Poetry Month text for the month of April.  --Mackenzie Magee

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