Celebrating Nikki Giovanni! - National Council of Teachers of English
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Celebrating Nikki Giovanni!

Today is Nikki Giovanni’s birthday. Nikki Giovanni is an American poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator. One of the world’s most well-known African American poets, her work includes poetry anthologies, poetry recordings, and nonfiction essays and covers topics ranging from race and social issues to children’s literature.

Did you know? Nikki Giovanni has won numerous awards, including the Langston Hughes Medal and the NAACP Image Award. She has been nominated for a Grammy Award; she was also named as one of Oprah Winfrey’s 25 Living Legends.

Read Nikki Giovanni in the Classroom: “The same ol’ danger but a brand new pleasure.”  This resource from NCTE features primary source materials, including many of Giovanni’s poems reprinted in full, plus easily adaptable lessons and activities, and a resource section for students and teachers wishing to study Giovanni further.

An example of using Giovanni’s work can be found in the the ReadWriteThink.org lesson plan “Childhood Remembrances: Life and Art Intersect in Nikki Giovanni’s ‘Nikki-Rosa’.”

In her poem “Nikki-Rosa,” Nikki Giovanni describes specific moments from her childhood. How can you turn your childhood events into a poem?