I begin this activator by explaining that curiosity is a useful attitude, especially when it’s free of preconceived ideas about what poetry is or should be. I explain that most readers make false assumptions about an unfamiliar poem and that the title may give you some image or association to start with but may also be deceiving as to the poems theme.
Next I tell my students that I modified the TP-CASTT poem analysis organizer by eliminating all questions except the first which is predicting what the poem is about after reading its title and the last question which is explaining the poems theme after reading the poem.
I give them the modified TP-CASTT with five short teen themed poems that I cut and pasted into the modified TP-CASTT asking them to predict the theme from the title and then write the theme after the poem is read. They are given the option of working with a partner or working individually. I use teen themed poetry for immediate engagement and familiarity with the poem's message.
After they have completed the activity I select a few students to share their written comments with class.
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