Descriptive Words = Images in the Mind

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SWBAT illustrate a poem and reflect on the poet's suggested message.

Big Idea

Infer the Message of a Poem


15 minutes

Teaching Point:  Readers of poetry begin to understand the poet's message by sketching pictures as a way of interacting with the text.  Sketching is one way to annotate a poem.

Train students to actively listen.  Read the poem "Bud" written by Kristine O'Connell George to the students. Say, "Today students I will read you a poem.  Pay attention to the words in the poem.   Listen closely to hear a new word or two.  I will read it a second time.  Then I will put the poem under the doc camera and read it again to you."



Pass out a copy to the students. Say, "I want you to read it to yourself.  Read closely several times.  Then read the poem to your partner.  After reading the poem,  sketch the pictures that the words and phrases in the poem suggest to you.  At the bottom of the page there is a space for you to write what you think the poet's message is."

Independent Work and Small Group Work

15 minutes

I dismissed most of the class to work at their tables.  I kept a mixed group of Ell, resource, and gen. ed. students on the rug.  To adults this seems like a fairly easy poem to interpret, but I anticipated it would not be for my students.  I  wanted to support students as they grappled with the interpretation of the poet's meaning.  I decided to include peer models to scaffold students thinking.  I was curious to hear the students' thinking about the vocabulary and poet's message.  The students working independently were able to listen in to the small group lesson and see the realia.  I imagine this was helpful to them as well.

Say, "Students, you know how poets write poems about anything and everything?  Right?  Well this poet wrote about a tiny bud in Springtime.  Right now it is Spring and if we look out the windows we will see lots of trees and bushes with leaf buds on them.  (Most kids only thought flowers started as buds so they deepened their understanding of a bud by including leaves start out as a bud.)

1.:  Introduce Vocabulary using realia.

Ahead of time, I gathered realia-objects from real life used in classroom to improve students' understanding of other cultures and real life situations to support development of vocabulary.

  1. I brought in some different kinds of tree buds off the bushes and trees in my neighborhood.
  2. I had a piece of velveteen cloth.
  3. A little coin purse/satchel with a metal clasp
  4. My big leather school bag to show the meaning of satchel or valise.

2. Read the poem to the students and act it out with a spring twig. This will help kids visualize the words to the objects and the process of leaves in the process of becoming.

3. Students read the poem to each other.

4. Students then annotated the poem with pictures and words.

5. I asked students to talk with their partner, share their drawings, and write what they thought the poet's message is.

Share out

10 minutes

Have all students return to their seats or they may come up onto the rug to share their illustrations and several interpretations of the poet's message.