Understanding the Speaker's Viewpoint Workstations

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SWBAT identify the speaker's viewpoint using inferences made from words and phrases.

Big Idea

Understanding Poetry isn't easy, but with differentiated, collaborative practice it can be fun!

Introduction and Expectations

5 minutes

Today students will continue to work with activities that will help them determine the speaker's viewpoint and feelings. Students will continue to practice this skill and to answer the essential question, "How does the speaker of a poem reveal his or her viewpoint?" Again, this question was created by my district team that creates our Common Core units. This is the second big question in our unit and really helps to hit that RL.5.6 standard.

Review your classroom expectations and rotations before starting. The speaker's viewpoint worstation chart will help show students what they'll be doing in rotations. My students will be grouped today by overall reading comprehension which I find through my formative and summative grades.

Teacher Workstation: I chose some fun poems by Shel Silverstein for the students. The Speaker of the poem activity includes poems that may be a little easier for students to make connections and find the speaker's/author's viewpoints. There are 3 poems and some text dependent questions to accompany each. 

Moodiness of Poems: In this station, use pages 39 and 40 in this poetry unit I found online. Students will write a few words to describe how they feel when reading the poems. They can also underline or highlight words that lead them to those specific feelings. I find that even my students who can't quite get the meaning, can at least get a "feel" for the mood of the poem and can use that knowledge to figure out meaning or speaker's viewpoint. This is also another great opportunity for students to learn about mood and really understand why we need to know the mood. I don't want them to simply memorize a definition. If they are looking through poems to pull out words that make them feel a certain way, then I'm happy. I want them to see mood as one more tool in their strategy toolbox to help determine meaning. Just a heads up: There is a poem in here with a racist, negative term that students may be uncomfortable with. The poem itself is absolutely amazing because you can FEEL the shift in mood based on that one awful word. My students did fine with it because we talked about the sad reality of racism first. Basically, in the poem a child is excited about his first trip to Baltimore. He's taking in the sights and is in awe, but then a person walks by and calls him a racist name. The poem hits you straight in the heart at this point. The poem ends by the speaker telling us this is all he remembers and leads into an amazing conversation about life, speaker's viewpoints, and the mood/tone of poems. If your students are up for it, I highly recommend using the poem. 

Figurative Language: This is another great review of figurative language to help review the terms before we start using them in the unit. As soon as students finish Love That Dog, we jump into Hate That Cat, which explores Jack's feelings about figurative language. Students should have some knowledge of these terms heading into 5th grade, but I find that the knowledge is sometimes spotty. The notebook is fun and this also covers RL.5.4. For each page of this activity, I have students choose a recorder to write down the sentence they receive and the answer chosen. They also choose a "teacher" to lead each slide. They continue taking turns for each slide. The information recorded is turned in to me to keep student accountable. If you don't have a smart board or don't want to purchase this, here is a website that has some other fun games and activities. 


45 minutes

Students will rotate through the 3 stations every 15 minutes. 

Teacher Station: Students will work in the teacher station today to read 3 fun poems and answer some text dependent questions about how the speaker is feeling about the topics. I like to teach this station myself to prepare the students to answer questions in a thorough way. All three of my groups will work with this Speaker of the Poem Activity, but my interaction with the students will depend on their needs.

When working with my struggling readers, I will guide students as we read the first poem and model my expectations. We'll answer the first set of questions together. Then I will slowly release responsibility to the students. I will be there as a guide to help them work through the poems and questions, but 'd like for them to try to work these out first on their own.

My other two groups will simply need me there as a facilitator. 20 of my kids are finally on grade level or above. They still need practice with annotating the text and using details to support their responses, so I will be there to intervene, pose questions, and get them to think a bit deeper. I'll also push these 2 groups a bit more to notice mood and tone and maybe have a brief discussion of any figurative language that may pop up. You could definitely give your more advanced readers something more difficult. I just wanted them to have some fun things that weren't as deep as some of the poems we've been reading. Kids just love Shel Silverstein, and honestly, so do I!

Figurative Language Station: My students have some poetry terms to use that are located right by the SMART board. Here you can see the group referring to the board to help them figure out a problem. 

Moodiness of Poems Station: I will visit this station while my group is discussing their Silverstein poems just to make sure they are handling the poem well. This is where we focus during our reflection of stations today. 

Have students share reflections from the workstations to wrap up today. I like to focus on academics and behavioral during the reflections to help keep my expectations clear.