Reflection: Trust and Respect Psst, This Poem Has a Personal Secret for the Reader: Composing the Reader Response Essay - Section 4: In-class Essay Writing


I've been teaching the British poetry unit in a context of community crisis. In the past few weeks, two teens (students at two other high schools) have committed suicide, four members of a prominent local family died in their home from carbon monoxide poisoning, a colleague's home burned to the ground, a student was severely injured in an accident involving a drunk driver; her brother is a senior in one of my classes, and she is in my homeroom.

Our lives are full of crisis. Poetry can help us heal. It can speak to us and help us find the words we need to express our grief and anguish. It can give us a safe way to share our emotions. It can show us that others respect our responses to crisis. I've thought about these ideas as I've shared poems such as "Death Be Not Proud" and "Not Waving but Drowning" with students. Really, finding a connection to literature is so much more important that dissecting its internal components, and seeing students connect to the way these poems show them something about life suggests they may be a bit more willing to continue reading poetry as they move on with their lives. 


  Please Hear What I'm Not Saying
  Trust and Respect: Please Hear What I'm Not Saying
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Psst, This Poem Has a Personal Secret for the Reader: Composing the Reader Response Essay

Unit 10: Romantic, Victorian, and Modern British Poetry
Lesson 8 of 9

Objective: SWBAT compose a reader response essay that reveals the "transaction" that has occurred between the reader and the text.

Big Idea: "It takes a great reader to make a great book" --Natalia Garibian

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