Reflection: Adjustments to Practice Free Verse and Figurative Language: Understanding Whitman's Use of Metaphor - Section 3: The Charts and Diagrams and Webcomics: Visual Connections


I chose to approach this poem and use Zen Pencils because I'm a fan of Gav's work, and wanted to share the visualization with my students. Many of my students are visual learners, and aside from reading, need to "see" the work in some way to come to greater understanding. Student reaction to the comic was positive, a few students asked what other poems the webcomic has addressed, but in retrospect, there are a few things I would do differently next time:

1. Due to the size of Zen Pencil's comics, they do not conveniently fit on a single screen or printout. I think next time, I'll seek computer or tablet access, so students have a greater opportunity to inspect the piece at their own pace.

2. I also would like to provide more than one visualization of the poem, perhaps this parody, or the reading from the TV Show "Breaking Bad" (Although by next time around, "Breaking Bad" may not have the fame it does now, as it  has just recently ended. By providing multiple interpretations, students can compare and contrast, and develop the depth of their reactions. The parody especially seems appropriate, as I noted above, students surprised me with the sympathy for the astronomer. 

Overall, however, I think this worked, as students had an opportunity to visualize the poem. One student did say the images of the speaker having information cram into his head and expression of frustration on his face at the failing grade created a sympathy for the speaker that was not in her initial reading of the poem. She read the speaker as somewhat arrogant, storming off because he didn't like the way the astronomer did things. The comic helped her see a different perspective, really being able to analyze the scene in two different media. 

  Must Construct Additional Comparisons
  Adjustments to Practice: Must Construct Additional Comparisons
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Free Verse and Figurative Language: Understanding Whitman's Use of Metaphor

Unit 13: Literacy: Figurative Language in the Poetry of Whitman & Dickinson
Lesson 5 of 6

Objective: SWBAT interpret extended metaphor through analysis of its use in Walt Whitman's "I Hear America Singing"

Big Idea: Whistling while we work, singing while we study, we analyze Whitman's poetry.

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walt whitman 1940 5c
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