Close Reading: Analyzing and Interpreting Poetic Devices in a John Henry Poem

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SWBAT use the characterization of John Henry to analyze the impact of certain words and phrases and use central ideas to express the theme of a text.

Big Idea

John Henry: A man's character is determined by the words and phrases of others.

Bellringer: Similes and Metaphors in Music

15 minutes

This lesson is all about understanding metaphors and similes in literature. Students will start this lesson by watching a youtube clip of musical selections that contain samples of figurative language. During the clip, students are asked to identify as many examples of similes and metaphors. To modify for certain students, a chart can be made where students match up the examples with the type of figurative language used as they hear it in each song.

Independent Practice: TPCASTT with Poetry

25 minutes

To bridge the understanding of analyzing similes and metaphors in a text, students will read and annotate the poem The Ballad of John Henry as a class. Because students are given various purposes for annotating, I model for students how to use the TPASTT_template with the poem.

Prior to reading the poem, have students answer the “T” in the template. Since this ask students to make a prediction about the title, students can share this response prior to moving on with the acronym. Then I read the poem to students stopping after a few stanzas to complete the “P” box paraphrasing what’s happening in the poem. This paraphrasing is the most crucial step in the analysis process. It is here that students begin to use thier own words to understand the text.

Now that I have read the poem to students, they will complete the “C-T” boxes independently. Watch my talk over annotation & TP video to see how students responded to the first few letters of the acronym and the impact this strategy has on a close analysis of a text.