Comparing Interpretations of a Poem

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SWBAT compare and contrast a poem to audio and visual versions in order to analyze the different interpretations of it's meaning.

Big Idea

Ben Harper and Maya Angelou; an unlikely pair?

Lesson Opener

10 minutes

In my lesson openers I always have a "connect" in which I connect students' thinking about yesterday's lesson to today's lesson. I then have a "teach" in which I model for students the lesson of the day and also have them try it out. When I think about my modeling, I use three categories; skill, strategy, and process. I model by stating the skill to the students, then giving them a strategy in which to use the skill, followed by the process to try out the strategy.

Connect:  I will say, “Yesterday we read a poem entitled, “Still I Rise.” This poem is by a very famous poet named Maya Angelou. We are going to watch her perform her poem through a short clip today and we are going to compare her performance to a song interpretation of the poem by the great singer Ben Harper.”

Teach: I will say, “In order to understand that poems have different interpretations and meanings, I am going to show you how to practice the skill of comparing interpretations of the poem and the strategy of using a graphic organizer. The process I will use is as follows:

1) Read over my analysis of “Still I Rise” from yesterday

2) Make a two column chart take notes of the two interpretations

3) Add to my analysis how my thinking has changed about the meaning of the poem.”

I will show them Maya Angelou’s clip first, stopping a couple of times to write down her facial expressions, her change in voice and her tone. I will do the same with Ben Harper’s performance of the song (start at 10:45).



Active Engagement

10 minutes

Active Engagement: I will say, “Turn and tell the person next to you, what were the similarities and differences between Maya Angelou’s interpretation and Ben Harper’s?” I will listen in to student’s conversation (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard).

Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Successful readers discover different interpretations and meaning of a poem by comparing renditions of the poem in order to have a deeper analysis of the poem and to understand that poems can have different interpretations.” 

Independent Practice

20 minutes

Independent Practice: I will say, “Now by using the analysis prompts and thought prompts, you are going to write your new thinking about “Still I Rise.” “Think about using the thought prompt, “I used to think/now I understand. Ensure that you add your notes from the two interpretations.” I will confer with students as they a write using Possible Conference for Write Long.

Partner Work: Students will be directed to turn and share their analysis with their partners. I will say, “Decide who will be partner A and who will be partner B. Partner A I want you to share your analysis. Partner B, I want you to listen if Part A is showing logical analysis by using an overall claim with reasons and evidence. Then you will tell them if you heard all three. If not, give them feedback; tell them an idea of what they could add or let them know their writing had all three components. Then you will switch.” I will then give students time to revise, or have them make notes and revise for homework. 


5 minutes

I believe that the end of the lesson should be an assessment of the days’ learning; therefore it should be independent work. I always end class with an exit ticket in which students write down the response to a question.

Closing: I will have students turn in their revised analysis.