Casey at Bat: Point of view & Poetry

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SWBAT describe how the narrator's point of view effects the way in which events are described.

Big Idea

How does point of view influence the way an event is described in a poem?

Cue Set

15 minutes

I show scholars the same picture of the student getting ready to hit the baseball that I showed yesterday.  I ask them to describe how the hitter would describe this event.  How would the pitcher describe the event?  Would these descriptions be the same?  Different?  Why? 

The idea here is that scholars are able to say that the pitcher might say that he was looking at the hitter with anticipation, he wanted to strike him out.  He saw the crowd behind the hitter cheering him on and felt their eyes on him.  He thought that he could throw a fast ball and strike the hitter out.  He saw the catcher signal a 2, that means a fast ball! 

Then, the scholars should describe how the hitter would describe the event.  It might sound something like, "The field was open before me.  Just me and the pitcher.  I'm going to hit the ball just a second earlier than normal, I think he's going to throw a fastball!  I hear the crowd behind me cheering me on."  

To support struggling learners, I draw a T-chart on the board and write 'Pitcher' in one column and 'Hitter' in the other column.  This helps them to differentiate what they are drawing and they can make a list which is easier than writing it all down.  

Then, we discuss how they are the same or different.  They are the same because they both hear the crowd, see different players, are focused on baseball.  They are different because the pitcher sees the crowd in front of him, the hitter only hears the crowd, etc.  The reason for the similarities is because they are experiencing the same event.  The reason for the differences is that they have different points of view based on the experiences they have (one is hitting and one is pitching).  

I give scholars 5 minutes to reflect on the first part (descriptions), then we discuss for 5 minutes.  I give scholars 2 minutes to reflect on the second part (why) and we discuss for 3 minutes.   

Teaching Strategy

15 minutes

In table partnerships, scholars re-read Casey at the Bat by Earnest Lawrence Thayer.  As we read, we think about the following questions: 

1. Who is the narrator? 

2. How does he/she describe the event of Casey striking out? 

3. How does the identify of the narrator influence the way in which events are described? 

*After they read, I think aloud about question 1.  It sounds like this: "I think the narrator is someone who is neither rooting for or against Casey's team.  The narrator seems indifferent about who wins, but is VERY observant.  I think that the narrator is probably someone who is watching the game, but who is not necessarily a fan of either team.  He actually sort of seems happy that Casey strikes out."  

I have scholars talk at tables about questions 2-3.  They have 2 minutes to chat, then we take 1 minute to discuss each question.  This is in preparation for the guided practice.  I want to build some thinking together before students work in small groups so that they can be more successful with the objective.  

Use this Graphic Organizer BEFORE answering question number 3 if students need more support.  

Guided Practice

30 minutes

Each table group gets 1 piece of large paper with 1 of the following questions on it: 

1. Who is the narrator? 

2. How does the identity of the narrator influence the way in which the events are described? 

3. How would Casey describe the event of him striking out? 

4. How would the pitcher describe the event of Casey striking out? 

5. What is a possible theme of this poem? 

***USE QUOTES to answer all questions. 

I tell scholars that they can answer in list-form to make it easier to read.  Scholars have 5 minutes to jot down their thoughts in their groups.  At the end of 5 minutes, scholars rotate from their group to the next group.  They have 5 minutes to read what the last group wrote and add on.  If they agree with something, they check it.  If they disagree, they cross out.  If they want to add something, they add it to the list.  They rotate through all groups.  Here is an example of one group reading responses of another group. 

At the end of the rotation, scholars read the feedback given from other groups to their group.  

This is a great way to keep scholars moving and to help them learn from one another.  Management and transitions need to be tight otherwise this could be a huge time waste.  

Independent Practice

30 minutes

During this time scholars rotate through 2 stations.  

I start the time by reviewing our checklist items for the week and explicitly state what should be completed by the end of the day.  Today students must complete their Graphic and their PCR.  Here is an example of one student's PCR.  Reviewing their work holds scholars accountable to completing their work thereby making  them more productive.  Then, the ELL teacher and I share the materials that our groups will need to be successful (i.e. a pencil and your book baggies).  Then, I give scholars 20 seconds to get to the place in the room where they will be for the first rotation.  The first scholars who are there with all materials they need receive additions on their paychecks or positive PAWS.

During the rotations for this lesson, my small group objective today is to analyze point of view in poems that are on each group's highest instructional level.  Scholars read a portion of the same poem (different for each group depending on reading level, but the same text is read in each group).  Then we discuss point of view.  

After the first rotation, I do a rhythmic clap to get everyone's attention.  Scholars place hands on head and eyes on me so I know they are listening.  Then they point to where they go next.  I give them 20 seconds to get there.  Again, scholars who are at the next station in under 20 seconds with everything they need receive a positive PAW or a paycheck addition.  We practice rotations at the beginning of the year so scholars know if they are back at my table, they walk on the right side of the room, if they are with the ELL teacher, they walk on the left side of the room and if they are at their desks, they walk in the middle of the room.  This way we avoid any collisions.    

At the end of our rotation time I give scholars 20 seconds to get back to their desks and take out materials needed for the closing part of our lesson.  Timing transitions helps to make us more productive and communicates the importance of our learning time.



2 minutes

Scholars reflect on the following question: How does point of view influence the way an event is described? 

Scholars write a 4-5 sentence description.  I collect and grade this since this is the second time I'm teaching point of view.  I give scholars a formative grade and use the results to inform future lessons on point of view.