Reflection: Performance Tasks Getting to Know Robert Frost - Section 3: Guided Practice


Analyzing poetry is one of the harder skills that is required of students.  The language, symbolism, and concepts within poetry can be very difficult to master.  I chose to demonstrate this skill with the poem "The Road Not Taken" because I am familiar with it and should not be surprised by anything. 

It ended up working very well.  Reading it one time through and asking the students what they thought the poem was about, led me to understand their very concrete way of thinking.  They stated it was about a man taking a walk and the path splits.  Which at face value, that is exactly what it would appear to be.  However, I guided the students and went back to our conversation about symbols.  I asked questions such as, "What could a path symbolize? and What could a tree symbolize?"  These questions led the students to think about the poem on a different level. 

By the end of their own working, they were able to pick up on other symbols and develop and understanding for the poem and develop their own interpretations of the poem.  Another factor we discussed was bringing our own background knowledge and experiences to the poem.  One student explained how they think the poem is about how the man made the wrong choice because in the poem it states he sighed.  The student explained how he sighs when he is sad or regrets something.  Another student then countered with how he felt the man was expressing how he was happy with the decision because he sighs when he is relieved about something. I was very impressed and used this moment to stress the importance of background knowledge and experience. 

The students really worked very hard and ended up exceeding the expectations I have had!

  Performance Tasks: Poem Analysis-The Road Not Taken
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Getting to Know Robert Frost

Unit 4: Unit 2: Part II Elements of Fiction
Lesson 8 of 10

Objective: SWBAT analyze the use of figurative language and word choice to determine the impact on a poem.

Big Idea: Students read the classics! Students are pushed out of their comfort zone of Shel Silverstein to read a more challenging piece. They will analyze Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken."

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