Modeling and Trying the Seven-Step Poetry Analysis

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SWBAT analyze the impact of rhyme, repetition, structure, and figurative language on the meaning of a poem through multiple readings and annotations.

Big Idea

Discover the meaning of a poem using what we know about figurative language, sound, and structure.

Word Roots Warm-Up

10 minutes

Today students will continue using the word roots for unit 3.  It is imperative that they copy the definition of each word, as simply having letters for answers will not help them study for the approaching assessment of word-root knowledge.


5 minutes

To begin today's lesson, I pose the following question to my students:

"Why do you think we've taken so much time to learn about figurative language and sound and structure in poetry?"

I have them first discuss the answer with their small group.  Then, after a couple of minutes, I ask for volunteers to share out responses.

I hope that this question leads to a conversation about using all of these skills to discover the meaning of the poem.  If they don't get there on their own, I will share this reason with them.

I then tell them that today we will put all of these skills together in an attempt to discover the meaning of a poem.  I invite them to take out their Figurative Language (Parts I and II) Sound and Structure notes to use a s reference today.

Getting Down to Business

15 minutes

To introduce the Seven-Step Poetry Analysis, I am going to do a think-aloud for my students.  I want them to watch me go through the entire process, and their only job is to watch and listen as I proceed.

Using the poem "The Rider," I complete an analysis form that I have displayed on my projector (though you could certainly make a transparency of the assignment. Every student in the room has a copy of the poem, though it is just for them to use to follow along.  They'll be analyzing a different poem on their own.

Did They Get It?

25 minutes

Once the class has seen me model the strategy, it's time for them to try it on their own.  I hand everyone a copy of the Seven-Step Poetry Analysis and their own copy of "Thumbprint" by Eve Merriam.

I leave my analysis of "The Rider" up on the screen for students to look at as a reference, and I circulate around the room to see what students are able to come up with for "Thumbprint."

I remind them to refer to their notes about figurative language and sound and structure to make sure they're not missing any details.

Some students will need more than 25 minutes to complete this process.  It can be taken home and finished independently or students can complete it tomorrow in class.  When checking this assignment for understanding, the most important thing to look for is a theme.  Remember, just like we talked about at the beginning of class, the whole reason we spend so much time learning about how poetry works is to discover the theme the poet has shared with us through their words.