Course: POETRY

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Course Description

I have had a great time studying poetry with my students over the years. This is a place where I plan to collect my resources and lessons for teaching poetry as I use them in the classroom and discover what works in practice. I've started with some poems that work really well for teaching tone shift. Dusting: a young girl’s tone shifts from stubbornly playful and independent to fiercely critical as she describes her mother Ex-Basketball Player: the speaker’s tone shifts from admiring to wistful as he describes the HS basketball star who now works at the local gas station Dulce et Decorum Est: the speaker describes the fog of war and speaks ironically of the glory of dying for your country; many tone shifts here Richard Cory: the speaker’s tone shifts from admiring to solemn as he tells of Richard Cory, admired by all, who put a bullet through his head one night Love Poem: one of the most beautiful love poems I’ve ever read; the speaker details the many qualities of his wife both negative and positive which all come together to make her a precious wonder to him When in Rome: two speakers here—a white woman speaking to her newly hired maidservant—and the maidservant, a black woman who hopes she lives till she gets home and is “tired of eatin’/what they eats in Rome…” ALSO… The P!nk lyrics are for three songs that are great for teaching close-reading and tone shift. Without a close-reading most people assume they’re about romantic love when in fact none of them are. Pick a song, then before listening to it, have the students close-read and analyze the song for meaning. Develop a thematic statement, characterize the speaker, determine how tone contributes to meaning in the text, whatever you’re working on that day, then play the song for the students at the end. This also provides a chance for students to see how the artist’s rendition of the lyrics as a song differed from the way they imagined it as a poem. I’ve taught this lesson with both AP Lit and 9th graders and it’s hugely popular.

Units and Lessons

No units or lessons for this course.

Course Resources

Dulce et Decorum Est.docx  
Ex-Basketball Player by John Updike.docx  
Love Poem.docx  
Richard Cory.doc  
When in Rome.docx  


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