Reflection: Trust and Respect But Poetry is Impossible to Understand! - Section 2: Instruction


When I read The Wheelbarrow with the kids, I always try to show the vulnerability that I had the very first time I read the poem. It's a bit of acting now, but they love to see that at first, I too, didn't get the poem. The poem was so simple. It just didn't make sense to me. I even thought out loud, "Who cares about a wheelbarrow?" One year a student said simply, "a farmer," and from there amazing discussion grew. When I show that vulnerability and misunderstanding, they can trust me and feel like we are all learning together. Sometimes I'm genuinely learning as they are and sometimes I have to act a little bit, but they need to see it. I feel like they are more willing to learn when they see me tackle learning. I don't want them to see me as the only person with the answers. I tell the kids about how that poem "travels" with me now that I get it. I was at a hotel once and there was a picture of 6 mail boxes on a dirt road. I started thinking, "so much depends upon 6 mail boxes, dusted with dirt, upon a lonely road." Then we all started talking about why the artist painted those boxes, why they were so important-important enough to write about them. From there, our own "So much depends upon..." poems began. 

  Teacher thoughts are so powerful
  Trust and Respect: Teacher thoughts are so powerful
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But Poetry is Impossible to Understand!

Unit 4: Poetry: A Love/Hate Relationship- "Love That Dog"
Lesson 3 of 20

Objective: SWBAT use interactive note-taking to understand the meanings of poems.

Big Idea: Understanding poetry isn't easy, but it is possible and with practice can be extremely exciting!

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  50 minutes
stopping by woods
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