Developing the Higher Order Skill of Analyzing Visual Mediums Through Words (Day 2 of 2).

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SWBAT to compare and contrast visual mediums and poetry by analyzing a painting and a poem by Langston Hughes using EdModo.

Big Idea

Ecphrastics: How to describe visual art through the written word. Students will come to understand this term through practice.


10 minutes


I want to use Edmodo as a medium for student academic discourse. I still have a lot to learn as far as how I can use this interactive tool with my students and therefore  think it's important to include Edmodo into a weekly lesson when possible.  Students are given a laptop computer and sign into Edmodo.  I circulate among them to answer questions and help students who are having "technical difficulties" which usually mean that their password or email address is not working.

In Edmodo I post the definition of Ecphrasis that students learned yesterday as well as ask students to post one favorite description and comparison made in yesterday’s class while looking at the Degas painting and the poem Evaluation.

Additionally, I ask students add one additional comment to a peer’s post while I circulate among students, redirecting, and encouraging on-task behavior.

Building Knowledge

20 minutes

I explain the task of reading the poem April Rain Song by Langston Hughes and comparing and contrasting it to a painting of a person walking in the rain.

I explain what to look for in descriptions, i.e. setting, tone, theme, etc..  I emphasize the importance of ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1  which requires them to write an argument to support their analysis of the poem and to provide valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence when comparing and contrasting the poem to the painting.

After my students read the poem to themselves, I read it aloud and as a class we analyze what the speaker is telling us:
  • In the first stanza we agree that the speaker or Hughes tells the reader or audience to let the rain "kiss" them.  
  • He also tells us to let the rain beat their heads with "silver liquid drops and to allow the rain to sing a "lullaby" to them. 
  • I then ask them to describe the poems tone and mood.
I repeat this discussion with stanza's 2 and 3 while checking for understanding by asking probing questions.  

Student Learning Activity

35 minutes

Next the students upload the assignment “Comparing a Poem to a Painting” from their Edmodo assignment tab and follow directions for writing responses to the questions, looking at tone, theme, describing characters, setting, etc..

I also hand out a Venn Diagram to students who benefit from an organizer (which are most of them).  The video resource illustrates how I  circulate among my students, asking questions and prompting focus on activity.

Wrap Up

10 minutes

Report out:

As a wrap up activity I ask students to use Edmodo to share responses to the task with peers as well as with me.  I  then project some of the student responses on the screen and facilitatea a short discussion.