Examining the Use of Two Voices in Poetry

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SWBAT explain how the use of two voices in a poem affects the reader's experience.

Big Idea

Deep understanding of a poet's craft enhances the overall comprehension of the poem.

Why Two Voices?

15 minutes

Today's lesson involves the students investigating how the author uses the two voices to create a picture for the reader's experience.  When the students enter today, they again find the Joyful Noise books on their desks and again, the ELMO displaying the "Honeybees" poem.  

The first thing I have the students do is to turn to their shoulder partner and discuss why the poet wrote the poems for two people.  I also have them discuss their thoughts on why he has the different voices speak at different times and why they sometimes say different words. Some kiddos said that the poet wants people to work together, someone said that it's more exciting with two people but one student said, "He uses two voices to help us see and hear what is going on with the bugs."  Bingo!!

Now, having learned my lesson with the "Whirligig Beetles" poem, I chose an easier poem that I've heard kids practicing and that's an easier read.  I choose two volunteers to come demonstrate "Honey Bees" so we can listen for what the poet is trying to say.  

This poem pits the two kinds of bees against each other during the reading.  It was fairly easy for the students to pick this out.   

A Deeper Look at Poet's Craft

40 minutes

After "Honey Bees", we move on to another, more difficult poem called "Mayflies".  Again, the words are easy here, it's the juxtaposition of the voices that brings it to life.  The students don't understand what mayflies are so I explain to them that mayflies only live one day and that every part of the poem is painting the picture of how the mayflies live an entire life in that one day.

I show them another video so they understand the swarm of the mayflies and just how many mayflies the poem is talking about.

A note here:  I only listened to part of the volume, but from what I heard, the guy is narrating the video and really doesn't add any information to it.  You may want to show the video with no volume.   

Practice and Prep

15 minutes

After the discussion about how the poet uses the voices, I give the students the rest of the time to practice and prep for their presentations tomorrow.