It's Better to Have Loved Than Lost....

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SWBAT use their knowledge of theme to work independently in poetry workstations.

Big Idea

A walk with Robert Frost, a super cool online poetry game, and some time with yours truly; does reading get any better?

Introduction and Expectations

5 minutes

In today's workstations students will work with skills learned in the previous lesson on comparing theme and on skills that I like to keep ongoing (context clues L.5.4.  and figurative language L.5.5 ).  

Today you will work in 3 workstations to keep practicing those poetry skills and to help you have a little fun. In the teacher station, you will come to me with the poem "My Sky" from Love That Dog, and the poem I gave you in small groups yesterday. We will continue the discussion of comparing those poems and the approaches to the theme. Bring your graphic organizers from yesterday and colored pencils as well. 

In the Poetry Splatter station, you will work on the SMART board to fill in parts of the poems using a word bank. This will help you work on your context clues in vocabulary, as well as, work on interpreting the meaning of poems.

In the Robert Frost station, you will read "The Road Not Taken" again and really think about what Frost is trying to tell you. This is a comic variation, and Frost will lead you through his metaphors to think about the meaning of the poem. 

You will have 15 minutes in each station, and I expect you to follow of rules of conduct when working in each station. Remember that my time with you in the teacher station is important, so I expect you to be courteous and kind to those learning. 



45 minutes

In stations today, you can expect to see the kiddos working on the following:

Poetry Splatter: My students will be working on the SMART board, but this website works on any computer. Students can even play on ipads if that works better. When my SMART board is down, I also let my students pair up and work on my 3 classroom computers. It's a little squished, but we make the best of it. There are a few levels on this game, and I think the middle school level works best for 5th grade. The earlier grades are just too easy. Basically, a poem pops up cloze style, and the kids get a word bank to select words that would complete the lines of the poem best. This is one station that I'll keep an eye on jut to make sure students are on task and that the volume is acceptable. Also, students need to take turns recording the poems and the words chosen. This helps to keep them accountable. This is not a station that I would grade for accuracy; this serves as fun practice and I'll be monitoring the members for participation. One strategy that I use for the SMART board is that students must rotate a "teacher" to stand at the board and make selections and a recorder to jot down the information chosen on each turn. This way all students are kept busy and everyone is taking turns.

The Road Not Taken: A few days ago, I had my students read this poem and think about the theme. I wanted to see how much they could get out of this on their own. Today, I'd like them to read the Frost comic where a cartoon Frost walks them through the woods to discuss the meaning of the poem. I'm hoping students can confirm their thoughts about the poem from the other day. There are a few questions to answer with this activity, and I will have my students turn these in. If you have computer availability, it might be nice to let students listen to Robert Frost reading The Road not Taken. 

Teacher Station: In our comparing theme lesson, students were broken into groups to compare the poem "My Sky" from Love That Dog to another poem with a theme of loss. I decided yesterday that I needed to continue working with these poems and using the graphic organizer. The poems/lyrics I used in each group were: Mockingbird, Which Lunch TableGhost Of You, Calm After the Storm, and Going away

Today we will continue using our graphic organizer to analyze the similarities and differences of our poems. Yesterday you should have completed a close read and have some annotations written down. Today, we'll focus more on filling in the graphic organizer and I want to be sure to really discuss the differences in how each poet approaches the theme. One aspect of Jack's poem is that Jack relies heavily on imagery to express himself. The other poems don't necessarily do this. For example, in Calm After the Storm the poet uses a metaphor to discuss how loss hurts. Jack simply tells his story and helps us connect by giving us strong imagery. 

Each poem does this differently, so take a look at them to prepare for the discussions with your students. There are so many similarities and differences to discuss with the kids. I just like to make sure the students understand that poets can try to tell us the same messages, but they do it in different ways. 

I've also included these two Rain poems if you'd rather have something else to compare with the students today.