Lesson: Assess on Poetry
Connection (3-5 mins): Readers, I know this was a really quick study of poetry but we are already ready to take the assessment to make sure we are ready for the DC-CAS in a few days. This is extra practice for you to understand what poetry questions will look like on the test. We reviewed figurative language and thought deeply about the meaning of a poem. Today you will see examples of what test questions for poetry may look like.
Teach (10-12 mins): Students should be seated on the carpet with a partner. They will be expected to turn and talk to this partner throughout the lesson. Readers, before I give you a chance to look at some test examples in your groups we will look at one example together.
Teacher places the poem, Memory, on the overhead. Teacher reads aloud poem. First, let’s think about what we noticed in this poem that we studied. Did anyone notice examples of figurative language? Turn and tell your partner what metaphor or simile is in this poem? Students turn and talk as teacher listens in to conversations. Teacher calls on students to share out their ideas. I love the ideas that you just shared. There is a metaphor in this poem in which, the author is comparing a memory to a tape recorder. I think the author is telling us that we remember events in our lives just like a tape recorder can capture events in time forever. That is such a powerful metaphor.
Now that we thought about figurative language in the poem, let’s look at some sample questions we might be responsible for answering on a test. Teacher reads aloud the first question. This question is asking me what I learned about memories from reading the poem. The first answer choice is that they do not always last very long. I do not think this is correct because the author compared memories to a tape recorder and anything on a recorder is saved forever. So I will cross out that answer. The second option states, they should be shared with family. I agree that memories should be shared with your family but I don’t think this is mentioned in the poem, we have to think about only what the poem told us. I will cross off this answer choice as well. The last two choices are a little harder. I think memories are normally important things but I also agree that the poem tells us memories are about events in our life. I need to look back in the poem for some help. After re-reading I see that the author says, “whatever it be”. This makes me think that some memories might not be a really important thing but maybe just a fun event or a pretty picture. I think the best answer choice must be D, that they are events that happen in our life.
Did you notice how I didn’t just select an answer but I took the time to cross out answers and re-read to find the best answer? Answering questions is hard work that requires us to really think deeply about what we are reading. Now you try with the second question. With your partner read the question and try to eliminate answer choices. Students turn and talk while teacher listens in to conversations.
I noticed some great talking today. Can someone share out their thinking about the answer to this question? Students share while teacher facilitates discussion. Great job readers! I think you are ready to try with a new poem. When you return to your seats today, you will read two poems with your group members and answer a few questions. Remember, I looking for groups that are practicing eliminating answer and re-reading to understand the text. Off you go.
Active Engagement (15-20 mins): Students should return to their seats to complete work independently or in a group. I allowed students to complete this work together. I think the conversations are more genuine when students are able to work together. My students sit at group tables of mixed ability to this was easy to facilitate. Teacher should circulate during this time or conference with groups of students.
Exit Slip/Share (3-5 mins): Students share out as a group their responses to questions. Teacher facilitates the discussion. Any questions that students disagree about should be discussed as a class with the teacher re-reading the passage. This is a great time to push students to explain their thinking.
Reflection: I really enjoyed watching my students work as a group on this assignment. It was interesting to see them challenge each other if they disagreed about an answer. You could also ask students to complete the assignment independently then share out with the group if you are looking for a more accurate depiction of where students will perform on the assessment.