Grade 8 English
Lesson: Accessing Poetry
Learning Outcomes: Students will explore how language and text can be a source of creativity and joy.
**NOTE: THIS ACTIVITY HAS BEEN MODIFIED IN ORDER TO BETTER FIT THE OBJECTIVES OF MY PORTFOLIO ASSIGNMENT**
What makes a piece of writing appealing?
Poems, songs, quotes, phrases from a novel… there are many different pieces of text that you will encounter along your journey through life that will make you pause. Take a moment to listen to the following audio clip, where I read you a poem that has stuck with me, and which brings me joy.
As you listen, take care to think about the sounds of the words, the way that you feel as you hear them, and the thoughts they bring up in your own head.
Now, listen to the clip again.
This time, as you listen, read along with the text below. Pay attention to the shape of the lines, where the text pauses, and the way the author has controlled the pace of the words you read.
Halfway down the stairs
is a stair
where I sit.
there isn’t any
I’m not at the bottom,
I’m not at the top;
so this is the stair
Halfway up the stairs
And it isn’t down.
It isn’t in the nursery,
It isn’t in town.
And all sorts of funny thoughts
Run round my head.
It isn’t really
It’s somewhere else
Finally, read it out loud yourself.
- Did you make different choices than Mr. Bienvenu did?
- Did you pause in different spaces, or read it through at a different pace?
- Did you emphasize different words as you read?
- Which words stuck out to you? Which ones felt good in your mouth?
Explore the poems in the Google Classroom Post entitled: Just for fun. Some of them you might recognize from your own childhood (Dr. Seuss perhaps?), while others will be new to you. Read through them, enjoying the way they sound, or the images that they bring up as you read. If you don’t enjoy something about a poem, make a note of that, and move on until you find one that has something in it that brings you joy.
Read through at least three, before choosing one that you would like to record yourself reading aloud. We will begin the process of recording next lesson, but for now, just explore, find a poem that appeals to you, and if you like, practice reading it aloud just to feel the words in your mouth.
Be ready to talk about why you chose the poem you did. As an exit slip, write a short message to your teacher letting them know which poem you chose, and a brief paragraph or recorded audio clip explaining why you decided to choose the poem that you did.