Note: The text and many of the support materials for this lesson come from Literature: Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes: Copper Level (Prentice Hall, 1999), a literary anthology, pages 388-393.
To grab students interest I ask what they think of when they hear the following lines from the poem “Ankylosaurus”:
Clankity Clankity Clankity Clank!
Ankylosaurus was built like a tank,
Its hide was a fortress as sturdy as steel,
It tended to be an inedible meal.
I tell them it is from on of three poems that they will be reading that explores the past. Explain that while this poem is humorous, the other two do express sad, sentimental feelings.
We begin the lesson by reading the Meet the Authors section and then I introduce the students to the main ideas of the lesson by reviewing the Literary Focus and Reading Strategy.
Reading poetry aloud has many benefits even for sixth graders. Here is the rationale for doing so as part of this lesson.
To gather information on how well students are doing making inferences and comprehending these poems, ask them to answer some comprehension questions about the poems we read. This helps me to tailor instruction to the particular needs of the students.
In our previous unit of study we spent a great deal of time on direct and indirect characterization and I am interested to see if the students can generalize the type of inferences made there to this new unit on poetry. To further explore inferencing, the students complete these two worksheets on inferences and rhyme. Student samples appear here and here.