Students Get Versed in the Art of Cine-Poetry

Students Get Versed in the Art of Cine-Poetry
Posted on 06/28/2022
Students Get Versed in the Art of Cine-Poetry

Students from several OCDSB schools wrote and recorded cine-poems through a partnership with MASC (Multicultural Arts for Schools and Community). Classes at Featherston Drive Public School, Canterbury High School, and York Street Public School took part in an 8-week virtual experiential learning program with spoken word artist JustJamaal ThePoet (Jamaal Jackson Rogers) and producer/director Craig Conoley. 

Students started the process by listening to spoken word performances by Jamaal and learning about different styles and features of the art form. Guided by the poet, they expressed themselves by writing their own poetic works. Then, they worked with Craig to bring their poems to life through video production. Students gained hands-on experience in every step - from storyboarding, to lighting, to video editing techniques. 

These experiences culminated in a collection of inspiring written poems and cine-poems that were shared with their school communities. Here’s a look at a few of the works that schools created:

Featherston Drive Public School

Grade 6-8 students in Samantha Conley’s and Bojana Culum’s classes at Featherston Drive Public School worked on individual cine-poems, putting their ideas, observations, and reflections into verse and video. Watch these creations by students Jaela and Hussain:

Here’s what some of the students had to say about their experience:


The experience was important to me because it allowed me to get my voice heard and I got a lot of positive feedback  from my classmates and teachers. It was also important to me because I could learn from the best poems. I got to learn about how poems connect and help us embrace what we can make. I loved how Jamaal and Craig taught us this in a couple of months which my classmates and I are very grateful for. - Marvin

This experience was important to me because it helped make my writing better and my film making easier and more fun to make instead of having to make up an idea, write it down, film it and it doesn’t turn out well. It became easier knowing there are different roles in film making. - Dayton

Canterbury High School

Students in the Arts and Business Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) programs met weekly as they worked together to write and film short poems, facilitated by Deborah James, retired OCDSB teacher. Here’s one example of a cinepoem created by student Marlayah M.:

Arts SHSM students also worked with Jaamal to prepare for the school’s annual Children’s Theatre Festival and Drama Department Grad Show. Through this mentorship, they learned skills to put on successful productions, both virtually and in person.

York Street Public School

Grade 8 classes at York St. Public School, led by Jamaal and teachers Meaghan Burden and Denis Spencer, wrote poems using the guiding question, “What Bothers Me?” Each student identified a topic and explored it by writing an individual poem that incorporated literary devices. They expressed their thoughts on poverty, pollution, war, mental health, and racism, among many other themes. The students then worked with Jamaal to weave these ideas into a collaborative poem for each class. Under the direction of Craig, they created a Cinepoem using their pieces:

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