Reflection: Student Ownership Analyzing Poetry: The Human Experience in Rhythm (1 of 2) - Section 3: Student Work Time

 

Today is the first time I have asked these students to apply analytical skills to poetry.  Poetry is so tough for students to "get" and they seem to get frustrated.  In the past, I've done whole class discussion which typically leads to me telling students what the poem is about.  My AP Literature classes are in the middle of a poetry unit and I thought I would attempt the same poetry analysis process with English II.  I was hesitant.  I thought that the AP Lit analysis was successful because they are so intrinsically motivated.  I really thought today would be a rough day in my English II classroom. 

I was so wrong. 

I knew I had to model thinking and I took a lot of time to do that.  However, as students, in pairs, begin talking about the poem line by line, magic occurred.  The student work time began with students saying, "I don't know," and "This is hard." But, soon after, I heard students say, "This reminds me of," "Well, if we look back up at line 9 then line 18 makes more sense," and, my favorite, "Do you think it could mean ----?".   

Today, I really felt like they were engaged in Common Core Analysis.  Because they were working in pairs, there was nowhere for students to hide and because I was writing their thinking on the board, they were constantly validated.  I was so impressed with my students today!  This poem is difficult and complex and they totally rocked it out!  I am going to continue this lesson into tomorrow and ask them to practice putting their analytical thinking into writing.  

Here is a screenshot and recording of my modeling and the students' thinking I recorded on the Smart Board.  

I am so impressed with this lesson and their active learning that I am extending it to day two.  Next, I want students to take the next step and put a critical frame on top of the readers' response frame.  

  Student Ownership: A Magical Teaching Moment
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Analyzing Poetry: The Human Experience in Rhythm (1 of 2)

Unit 6: What It Means to be Human
Lesson 10 of 15

Objective: SWBAT determine a theme of a text and analyze how an author's choice in structuring the text helps create certain effects by deconstructing a poem.

Big Idea: Can we apply analytical skills to poetry?

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