Students Present Narrative Poem Lessons to the Class

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SWBAT teach the class about the three elements in their narrative poems.

Big Idea

Learn it ---> Teach it ---> Know it forever.

Student Group Presentations of Poetry Analysis and Performances

60 minutes

So, today* was the day that we have been waiting for...the students presented their poems and "taught" them to the class.  Since I split the presentations over two days, the students did not have to sit through 60+ minutes of poetry discussions.  However, they did have to take some notes.  I instructed them to write down some brief notes on the three aspects of narrative poetry on which we are focusing: story, narrator, and structure.  The goal that I set for the lesson was that students would continue to construct their understanding of how the elements of narrative poetry work together to form a cohesive whole.

While the presentations were not really polished, the students did a decent job with the PowerPoints, so their classmates could get some good notes.  The only part of the lesson that I really thought was disappointing was the performances.  I didn't preview their performances, and the students didn't do a great job preparing.  Listening to a student read slowly and without appropriate enthusiasm or inflection can really detract from the impact of the poem.  That said, I think the students who performed "felt" the reaction of their classmates, so hopefully, they will do a better job of preparing in the future.  

All in all, the activity was successful -- especially the group work analyzing the poem for the three elements.  That work was good and meaningful; perhaps requiring the presentations without a lot of extra time to prepare was a tall order.

* Logistical Notes:  These presentations were enacted over two days, with three groups performing, per day. Because I have classes of 28 students, I formed six groups of four and five.  For all of our sakes, I planned for each group to present for about 5-7 minutes, and I factored in some transition times with set up and pulling up documents, etc. 


Exit Ticket: Discuss the role of structure in narrative poetry.

10 minutes

To wrap up the class and give something for students to think about, I just gave them a five-minute exit ticket about structure in poetry.