No Series: Approaches to Poetry: Pre-Reading Strategies

ELA.RL.8.4

Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • RL:  Reading Standards for Literature 6â\x80\x9312
  • 8:  8th Grade
  • 4: 
    Determine the meaning of words and phrases
    as they are used in a text, including figurative
    and connotative meanings; analyze the impact
    of specific word choices on meaning and tone,
    including analogies or allusions to other texts.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

Approaches to Poetry: Pre-Reading Strategies

Lesson Objective: Students analyze words of a poem before seeing the big picture
Grades 6-12 / ELA / Tone & Theme
6 MIN
ELA.RL.8.4

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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. See how isolating key words prior to reading the poem help students explore themes and make predictions How do the "spotting patterns" and "jumbled lines" tasks engage students in deep analysis?
  2. How does this approach make a complex poem easier to grasp?

93 Comments

  • Private message to Jennifer French

Was there a program you used to alphabetize the words from the poem or did you do this yourself manually?

 

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  • Private message to Gretta Brinson
  1. See how isolating key words prior to reading the poem help students explore themes and make predictions How do the "spotting patterns" and "jumbled lines" tasks engage students in deep analysis?  It challenges the students and makes a sort of game out of the class work. Anything that gives a challenge with fun is a good way to engage students.
  2. How does this approach make a complex poem easier to grasp? By breaking the poem down and studying each individual word the students effectively studying each pole of the scaffold. They then study the jumbled lines to put the poem together which completes the building of the scaffold.
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  • Private message to Danny Hollier

 

My first impression: I see young children with impressionable minds trusting their teachers to show them the right way. The lesson had better help mold and shape them into better adults in addition to the information they are learning.

  1. See how isolating key words prior to reading the poem help students explore themes and make predictions How do the "spotting patterns" and "jumbled lines" tasks engage students in deep analysis?

My first thought goes to my own creative writing. Active verbs and descriptive adjectives can paint vivid images and emotions in a reader. By isolating those key words, a student can begin to draw conclusions about the meaning and mood of a poem because of the imagery those words create. 

A “jumbled lines” approach introduces a sort of detective game into the lesson. By relying on previous training in the formal structures of poems, they can begin to fit the jumbled lines back into the poem along with following the logic of the original work to ensure they are on the right track. The approaches will teach students to be creative and adaptive in their thinking when they encounter exercises like this.

  1. How does this approach make a complex poem easier to grasp?

This approach harkens back to an earlier lesson in the coursework about breaking down complex problems into smaller and smaller bits to make learning easier. It also helps with motivation: students will have more tools to tackle tougher work, and their knowledge and confidence will grow because of it. The approach also sets up students for higher level thinking where they can apply what they’ve learned to other literary works and begin introducing their own methods of analyzing other writings.

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  • Private message to Anita Thomas

Answers

1 The "spotted patterns" and " jumbled lines " task engage students in deep analysis to slowly open up the poem with an open structured way by building confidence through word meaning making context and discussing the rhyme schemes by going on a learning journey coming to their own conclusion.

2.  This approach makes it easier for the students by explaining individual words through a critical way, removing some words leaving the main words of the poem and it makes the students understand the words better once they read the actual poem.

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  • Private message to Anita Thomas
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Transcripts

  • Summary

    Year 10 English pupils explore William Blake's poem, London, in an usual and innovative way. Suitable for Key Stage 4

    Summary

    Year 10 English pupils explore William Blake's poem, London, in an usual and innovative way. Suitable for Key Stage 4 exam preparation.
    Lead teacher in English and ICT, Carol Weale at Dane Court Grammar School, doesn't give her Year 10 class William Blake's complete London poem but places the words in alphabetical order.
    By isolating key words, the students begin to explore the themes. Carol then presents them with completed lines of London but in a jumbled order. They must rearrange them, using their knowledge of the poems rhyme structure and themes.
    Finally, students compete to memorize and write down as many words from the poem as possible, in a few minutes.
    This largely independent lesson is a great way to encourage and engage reluctant learners and help them to prepare them, for the unseen poetry paper.

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