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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Christie Colvin
System: Covington County
School: Covington County Board Of Education

  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 16693

Title:

Analyzing the Poetry of Emily Dickinson

Overview/Annotation:

Students examine ways in which life events of a poet influence the poetry written. After researching Emily Dickinson's biography, students analyze her poetry and present a collage depicting one poem. The lesson can be easily adapted to the study of many other poets.


 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
TC2 (9-12) Computer Applications
4. Utilize advanced features of word processing software, including outlining, tracking changes, hyperlinking, and mail merging.
 
TC2 (9-12) Computer Applications
6. Utilize advanced features of multimedia software, including image, video, and audio editing.
 
TC2 (9-12) Computer Applications
9. Practice ethical and legal use of technology systems and digital content.
  • Explaining consequences of illegal and unethical use of technology systems and digital content
  • Examples: cyberbullying, plagiarism
  • Interpreting copyright laws and policies with regard to ownership and use of digital content
  • Citing sources of digital content using a style manual
  • Examples: Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA)
     
    TC2 (9-12) Computer Applications
    11. Critique digital content for validity, accuracy, bias, currency, and relevance.
     
    ELA2015 (9)
    4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone). [RL.9-10.4]
     
    ELA2015 (9)
    5. Analyze how an author's choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise. [RL.9-10.5]
     
    ELA2015 (9)
    6. Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature. [RL.9-10.6]
     
    ELA2015 (9)
    13. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language of a court opinion differs from that of a newspaper). [RI.9-10.4]
     
    ELA2015 (9)
    14. Analyze in detail how an author's ideas or claims are developed and refined by particular sentences, paragraphs, or larger portions of a text (e.g., a section or chapter). [RI.9-10.5]
     
    ELA2015 (9)
    15. Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose. [RI.9-10.6]
     
    ELA2015 (10)
    2. Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text. [RL.9-10.2]
     
    ELA2015 (10)
    4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone). [RL.9-10.4]
     
    ELA2015 (10)
    5. Analyze how an author's choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise. [RL.9-10.5]
     
    ELA2015 (10)
    6. Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of early American literature to 1900, drawing on a wide reading of American literature. [RL.9-10.6] (Alabama)
     
    ELA2015 (10)
    19. Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century foundational United States documents of historical and literary significance (including The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features. [RI.11-12.9]
     

    Local/National Standards:

     

    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    Students will identify the characteristics of Emily Dickinson's poetry. Students will use the Internet to research the life and poetry of Dickinson. Students will analyze a poem by Emily Dickinson. Students will create a digital (or handmade) collage representing the imagery and tone of a Dickinson poem.

    Additional Learning Objective(s):

     

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    Greater than 120 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    Sample collage, copies of Dickinson poems

    Technology Resources Needed:

    Computers with Internet access, digital camera and scanner, graphics software, art supplies (optional)

    Background/Preparation:

    A class study of poetic form and literary devices should precede this lesson. The teacher will need to prepare a collage to represent a poem already studied by the class to use as an example.


      Procedures/Activities: 
     
    1.)Present a picture collage of a poet and poem already studied by the class. (Most students have read a poem by Robert Frost by ninth grade and are familiar with his days as a farmer. A collage for this author might contain his picture, appropriate pictures of farm life, nature pictures, seasonal pictures, etc.) Ask the class if they recognize the person in the collage. Call for a discussion of the pictures used to represent the poem already studied. Ask students to give characteristics of that poet and poem. List them on the board. Be prepared to list characteristics if students can not give any.

    2.)Make sure that students have an understanding of the characteristics, poetic form, and literary devices listed. Guide the students to understand that to truly understand a poet's poetry one has to understand her/his life. Instruct students that it is important to know that most poetry is reflective of a poet's life.

    3.)Read a poem of Emily Dickinson's aloud to the class (from the text or other collection). Discuss what students might be able to tell about her life or personality just from hearing the poem. Explain that they will be able to understand the poem better if they know more about her life. (Just as knowing that Frost was a farmer helps to understand his observations about nature, etc.)

    4.)Remind students that it is important to understand the life of Emily Dickinson in order to appreciate her poetry. Therefore, they will investigate her life and lifestyle through credible websites. (They may research in groups or on their own, whatever is best for the range of students in the class.) While researching, students may make notes of the different events in Dickinson's life and spectulate on their effects on her personality and poetry. The teacher should prepare a brief summary of Dickinson's autobiography to discuss with the class after they have completed their own research.
    (Web English Teacher)
    Links, lesson plans, access to Dickinson's poetry

    5.)Read the poem "Pain--has an Element of Blank" aloud in class. Lead the students in a discussion of the first stanza of the poem. List literary devices and mood on the board. Encourage students to work on an analysis of the second stanza themselves.

    6.)Pass out selected poems of Emily Dickinson. Print the poems leaving ample room around the poem for notes. Ask the students to read the poems to themselves and see if they can determine the relationship between her biography and the poems. Instruct students to brainstorm individually to analyze the poem, making notations in the margins of the page regarding poetic imagery, mood, tone, and relevance to the life of Dickinson.
    Have a brief discussion with the class on their ideas. A graphic organizer like the Makes Sense one attached will also help students organize their ideas, especially if one is done together first using an overhead.

    7.)Assign a picture collage depicting one of Dickinson's poems. (Have students access the poetry banks online, the Alabama Virtual Library , or visit the media center. Each student should choose a different poem.) Students can use art supplies or a digital format. Placing objects, pictures, a copy of the poem, etc. on a scanner then covering it loosely with a background cloth before scanning will create a unique digital collage. Text can be added over the image as well.
    ( Poet: Emily Dickinson - All poems of Emily Dickinson)
    This site contains information about Emily Dickinson's biography, poems, and quotations. The site lists poems that the teacher and student could use in their investigation.

    8.)Schedule class time for each student to present his/her collage to the group. Require a written explanation of the collage (analysis of the poem).


    Attachments:
    **Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.

      Assessment  

    Assessment Strategies

    Teacher observation will be used to assess completion of graphic organizers and notation sheets. A rubric should be devised to assess collage detail, appearance, and explanation. Assess paragraph explanations of project according to class composition expectations.


    Acceleration:

    Students could try their hands at writing a poem in the style of Dickinson.

    Intervention:

     
    Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

    Presentation of Material Environment
    Time Demands Materials
    Attention Using Groups and Peers
    Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior

    Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.
    Alabama Virtual Library
    Alabama Virtual Library

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    The University of Alabama at Birmingham
    The University of Alabama at Birmingham
    The Malone Family Foundation
    The Malone Family Foundation
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