Poetry Introduction - Poetry Lesson 1

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SWBAT identify poetry as a genre and discuss meaning.

Big Idea

You bring your meaning, and I'll bring mine.

Warm Up

15 minutes

Since our regular Model Monday task with our Penpals ended before Spring Break, to open class today (and each of our last few Monday's), I will introduce a new weekly assignment.  Each Monday, I will assign a Newsela homework quiz.  The quiz will need to be completed by Friday of each week.  So, today I'll introduce this weeks article, and allow students a bit of time to read the article.

We are rapidly closing in on the end of the school year, so I like the idea of using the articles on Newsela as an independent task to both keep my students sharp and further the connection between other content area topics and our classroom.  Newsela's "binder" feature also allows me to monitor progress.


35 minutes

To open class today, students will discuss their feelings about poetry at their table.

"What do you think about poetry?  Do you love it, hate it…and why do you feel the way you do?  Give at least one specific reason." 

After students have had a few minutes to get their thoughts out, we'll move to the lesson for today which follows a Powerpoint. (A note about the Powerpoint, please download it to your own computer to be able to view it fully.  The preview does not provide a correct view.)  Today we will move through slides 1-7.  The slides are somewhat self explanatory.  

 I have uploaded this powerpoint to Edmodo for student access both in and out of class.  Those who do not have access at home can also print a copy from their classroom computer.  This type of access allows students who are home sick or have been out to access the material easily.

The first slide includes a clip from the movie Dead Poets Society.  This clip is available on Youtube, but I have edited it here to eliminate a few words.  Just in case the clip does not come through attached to the powerpoint I have included it in the resources.

When we get to slide 7, I will distribute paper copies of two poems - "Maybe Dat's Your Pwoblem Too" and "Annabel Lee". I want students to be able to annotate on these poems in class per the instructions/questions on the powerpoint as we discuss.  These poems provide a great discussion of how poetry doesn't have to be serious to be "good"- it can be light-hearted and still pack meaning. Case in point- the theme of being comfortable with who you are since you can "burn your suit"in the Hall poem. 

The poems also provide the traditional vs. modern comparison and provide a GREAT discussion of word choice.  Why did Poe use words like "sepulcher"?  What mood is built with words like this? 

Wrap Up

5 minutes

To wrap up class today, students will begin their response to the journal entry below (finishing it at home):

With the video and our discussion today, I've introduced what may be a new way of thinking about poetry to you today.  We are not always going to agree, you bring your own experiences and therefore interpretation to the poem. We are not going to tie the poem to the chair and beat the correct meaning out of it.

What are your thoughts about this? Does it change your feelings at all?  Does it make poetry less or more scary? Explain your thinking.