SWBAT use the TPCASTT strategy to guide and improve their approach to poetry.

Hard work (poetry) requires good tools (TPCASTT.)

10 minutes

This is our daily warm up, wherein students work with two or three Latin roots per day. The resource that I use to get my roots is Perfection Learning's Everyday Words from Classic Origins.

Every day, when the students arrive, I have two Latin roots on the SmartBoard. Their job is to generate as many words as they can that contain the roots, and they try to guess what the root means. After I give them about five minutes, we share words and I tell them what the root means.

The students compile these daily activities in their class journals. After every twelve roots, they take a test on the roots themselves and a set of words that contains them.

30 minutes

Yesterday, the students took a stab at doing an EBSR independently, based on the poem, "the lesson of the moth". After scoring their responses -- and realizing that most of them had done really poorly -- I decided to review the questions and teach them a strategy.

When I scored their responses, I highlighted the correct answers. This allowed the students to go back and verify the answers, and for us to talk about them.

The first question asked the students to identify a shift in the poem. About half of my students got that question wrong, so I made a list of things on the board that signal a shift: words like But, Instead, However; changes in typeface, form, or line length, etc. The question was actually an easy one, but I think some of my students had never thought critically about what constitutes a shift in the poem and how it differs from a change.

Once we agreed on the shift, the students had no trouble figuring out how to describe the shift. The third question asked them to select all of the lines that supported their selection describing the shift (use the link above to read about the assessment in detail.) The final question was really easy, because the wrong answers were really wrong. The correct answer "short lines mimicking the movement of the moth" sparked some debate because the students didn't think that a poem could sound like a moth. So, we talked about how finding the right answer might not always mean finding an answer you love, but instead, it can mean "finding the most reasonable answer."

20 minutes

After we reviewed the questions, I thought it was a good time to introduce them to TPCASTT, which is a strategy for breaking down poems.

Here is a great template for TPCASTT from ReadWriteThink. Basically, the students go down the the template, and identify aspects of the poem that the strategy highlights. We went through that very slowly together. After that, the students said that doing a TPCASTT would have helped them get the answers right on the EBSR. So, I encouraged them to use the strategy even when it is not assigned. We will see if anyone takes me up on it :)

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