Images and Sounds that Convey Tone in Poetry

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SWBAT analyze and discuss how imagery and sound devices convey the overall tone and meaning of a text by collecting evidence from two poems in a chart.

Big Idea

Students do what crime scene investigators do: Collect evidence of words and phrases that convey meaning

Do Now

8 minutes

When my students enter the room, I will have placed a dry erase board and a marker on their desks. On the interactive white board, students find the following instruction:

"List all of the sound devices that you can recall on your dry erase board." Consider those that we mentioned in the last lesson when we learned the TWIST strategy.

After about 2 minutes, I will tell my students to find a partner and steal some answers from them to add to their list. I encourage them to look around the room for hints of sound devices on our word wall or in other places in the room.  I will ask several students to share with the whole group as we create a working list of sound devices that include onomatopoeia, alliteration, assonance, consonance, and rhyme.

Next, I will ask for student volunteers to come up to the board. On the board, I'll have definitions of the sound devices and a word bank of words. I will be asking the volunteers to match the definitions of these terms with the term. They will match the definitions by moving the words around on the Smart Board so that they appear next to their definitions. Check out the flipchart that I used for this lesson. (You will need to download the ActivInspire in order to view the flipchart, but it is a free download on the Promethean website.) When they step back, I will ask the student audience to tell them how many they got correct. Then, I will give them another minute to correct any errors.  Once they are correct, I'll provide 3 minutes for students to copy any definitions they don’t know into their notes. I'll say to them, “Only copy the ones that you do not know. If you know them all, you do not need notes on them for the next activity.”

I am having them do the "Do Now" this way because I had noticed from the previous lesson that not all students recall all of the sound devices. This is a quick refresher and note-taking opportunity.


15 minutes

For this part of the lesson, I'll ask students to think about the imagery and sound devices that we discussed during the previous lesson. Then, I'll give them a challenge: With their 3'oclock partner, they must create a statement about our classroom or a topic of their choice that includes an exemplary example of imagery and a sound device. I'll give students 10 minutes to develop their statement.  As an added incentive, I will provide a small prize (pencil or eraser) for the most imaginative, creative statement.

Next, I'll tell my students that we will be looking at sound devices and imagery that create tone today, so we need to make sure that we understand tone as well before we begin our analysis. To help students with tone, posted in the room, I have a list of tone words with definitions, and I'll remind them that they can refer back to those words when needed so that we can move beyond words like happy and sad to describe the author's tone. (5 minutes) I am choosing to give them these words because in my experience, students have trouble coming up with the most appropriate words that convey tone on their own. This short video explains my rationale for giving them tone words a bit more.


Building Knowledge

10 minutes

For this section of the lesson, I will refer back to the discussions we have been having on tone, word choice imagery, etc. and I will tell my students that they will continue to practice collecting evidence. This time, we want to be sure that our evidence is strong and convincing. In other words, we must be able to prove that the attitude of the author (tone) is best supported by the textual evidence we collect. I will tell my students that they will have an opportunity to judge whether or not their partner's evidence is convincing and explain why.

I will model this on the Smart Board by analyzing words or phrases from one of the poems that we will be reading today: "The Courage that My Mother Had," by Edna St. Vincent Millay or "Lineage" by Margaret Walker. During the model, I will mark up the text by underlining, highlighting, or circling examples of imagery and sound devices and describing the tone that these images and sound devices convey (using the tone words chart, of course). I will chart my responses in the organizer that students will be using for the application section of the lesson today. This model is my chance to clarify the expectations for their work, so explicit instruction here is really important. As a result of this lesson, I am expecting students to be able to analyze the impact of word choices on meaning and tone CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4, so I need to model for them how to do this and explain what makes my modeled evidence convincing.




25 minutes

For the application part of the lesson, students will work on collecting convincing textual evidence of imagery and sound devices that help convey the tone of the two poems, "The Courage that My Mother Had" and "Lineage".  We are reading these poems because they fit well within the theme of Searching for Identity.  In both poems, the speaker's identity is shaped by something in her past. These poems also provide super examples of sound devices and imagery that convey the attitude of the speaker.

Students will use the Organizer for Collecting Evidence in order to track their evidence and tone. I am giving students the option of using their own organizer as long as it captures all of the information in the one I provided. Collecting evidence is key if we are going to analyze the cumulative of these word choices on tone and meaning CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4 . I will remind them that the evidence must be convincing because they will have to explain how the evidence supports the tone word they select.  I chose to develop this organizer because it will allow students to keep track of the words and phrases (sound devices and imagery) and connect them to a specific tone word. This way, they will have all of their evidence in one place when we discuss or write about the images and sound devices that create a specific tone.

After students collect evidence individually, I will ask them to work with one of their clock partners to discuss the evidence and tone. During the conversation, they must take notes on how their partner describes the tone and the imagery and sound devices that help convey that tone. Their notes should appear on the same page as the organizer for collecting evidence. This picture shows a student's evidence and evaluation of their partner's evidence.




10 minutes

For the closure part of this lesson, my students will do the following:

"In a few sentences, evaluate whether your not your partner was effective in explaining their evidence and how it conveys the tone of the poem. Be very specific in your response. Use your notes to write down specific details that your partner shared with you. If your partner's evidence was not convincing, explain what they needed to do to make it more convincing."

If time permits, I'll have students share their closure statements with their partners and have a brief discussion in which they evaluate their partner's reasoning and give suggestions for changes (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.3). If needed, I'll give students 5 additional minutes to make any corrections to their charts before submitting.

I am choosing this closure activity because I want them to help evaluate whether their partner's evidence is strong with the hope that it will help them to make their own evidence stronger. I think they will strengthen their own thinking and writing by getting feedback and by being able to go back an make adjustments based on new learning from their classmates.

Self-Selected Reading

20 minutes

At the end of the period, we will have self-selected reading time.  Students will read self-selected texts all year and there will be one SSR project each quarter. After reading, I will have them journal about a given topic. Today's topic is to look for examples of imagery and/or sound devices in a text and explain how they convey a particular tone.  In essence, they are practicing determining the meaning of words and phrases and their impact on tone and meaning once more in this lesson CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4 .

If students did not bring a book, they can select a book from the classroom library.  I'll remind them that they will go on a library visit to select books, but they may also bring a book from home or select one in the classroom.

This video explains why SSR is important and the goal for my students.

Attribution for Lesson Image

The photo image for this lesson is in the public domain, but I am including the following attribution:

By Georges Hébert (L'éducation Physique féminine, 1921, page 191) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons