Reflection: Staircase of Complexity How Do I Find THE MEssage in poetry? Small groups - Section 2: Discussion and Closure


When I started working on theme, I realized that the students were struggling a bit as a whole group. I usually structure my lessons to gradually get more difficult so that I don't overwhelm the students too much at once, especially when I know it's a more difficult concept. My day 1 is usually a mini-lesson, guided practice and small groups. Day 2 is usually workstations where I work with one group at a time and the other groups are independent. For this essential question, I noticed the students may need more time to work with the graphic organizer I created for them. I threw in this day of small groups so they could practice using the organizer and working with poems that have a strong theme. I felt like the 3 poems I chose lent themselves well to my students' experiences, thus allowing the kids to make more connections to them. I thought The Road Not Taken would be the most difficult, but the kids actually did pretty well. The small group that I spent the most time with only made it through 2 poems with me, but the conversations we had were solid. Students could tell me that "Alone" was sad and that people need each other to truly make it in the world. They really liked "Mother to Son." They liked the way the mother spoke and were very excited to read Langston Hughes. We read his "Thank You Ma'am" short story, so they were interested to see that he wrote poems and even picked up on how he uses the dialect in both. The students wondered if Mrs. Jones in "Thank You Ma'am" was the mother in the poem. Interesting connection from this group. 

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  Staircase of Complexity: Good Call
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How Do I Find THE MEssage in poetry? Small groups

Unit 4: Poetry: A Love/Hate Relationship- "Love That Dog"
Lesson 14 of 20

Objective: SWBAT apply strategies learned to determine the theme of a poem.

Big Idea: Now's your chance to hunt for themes in poetry on your own. Think you have what it takes?

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