Access the four drafts and the final version of Langston Hughes’s poem “Ballad of Booker T.” from the Library of Congress. For ideas on helping students to follow the poet’s creative process, check out the Teaching with the Library of Congress blog’s teaching ideas for using the marked-up drafts and final copy of Hughes’ poem “Ballad of Booker T.”
You might also have students analyze primary sources to see if they think Hughes, in his poem, aptly described Washington. Would students add to or edit Hughes’ poem? Challenge students to write their own ballad to someone they admire from history or today using different poetry forms. For example, you might have them try a Beat In Three poem, which requires each line to consist of three syllables only.