I'm doing with my 8th grade language arts (resource) class and I just wanted to share. We've been doing a poetry unit, and we'll be wrapping it up next week. For our cumulative activity, we'll be doing a poetry coffee house. I got a huge stacks of poetry books from our school library and I let the kids choose 1 poem each to read out of the books. Tomorrow, we'll be in the computer lab researching the author of the poem that they chose. I'm going to have them fill in a simple worksheet that asks for the author's name, birthday, famous works, and 2-3 other facts about them. Then we're going to rehearse a little bit on Thursday, Friday, and Tuesday and our coffee house will be Wednesday next week. They'll each introduce their poem with the facts they found on their author, and then read the poem out loud. I'm going to decorate my classroom with some Christmas lights, and I borrowed a party size coffee maker from our home ec teacher to heat up water in and I'll be bringing instant coffee, tea, and hot chocolate for them to drink and some cookies! I also e-mailed the whole school staff about it and lined up a couple "guests" for both class periods. One of our AP's is coming to read a poem, a guidance counselor, and two other teachers. The kids are really excited, and I am too! Plus this can be adapted to any level--I am an EC teacher so these classes are resource, but if I had gifted/talented I might have them read their own poems AND one by a famous poet and explain the meaning behind it or something like that. Anyways, I just wanted to share. It's going to be a lot of fun and I thought maybe someone else would like to give it a try.