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Poetry lesson using music lyrics and traditional poetry. The lesson involves identifying vocabulary, imagery, analysis, and interpretation of poetry. Students work collaboratively to develop the meaning of poetry. Specifically, this lesson highlights Langston Hughes's poetry and the Harlem Renaissance.
This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.
Primary Learning Objective(s):
Students will collaborate to analyze poetry and lyrics.
Students will define vocabulary.
Students will identify poetry conventions.
Students will draw imagery from a poem.
Students will analyze poetry to determine meaning.
Students will relate an informational passage to the poem/lyrics.
Students will determine meaning based on visual interpretation of lyrics.
Compare visual interpretation to a written interpretation.
Additional Learning Objective(s):
Understand the impact of the Harlem Renaissance on writers.
61 to 90 Minutes
Materials and Resources:
Desks arranged in grouping order
Round Robin Poetry graphic organizer either printed or have students draw (see attachments)
Langston Hughes' Informational article: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/langston-hughes (one printed copy for each group or projected on the board)
Owl City "Fireflies" lyrics printed or projected for each group http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/owlcity/fireflies.html
Langston Hughes' poems "A Dream Deferred"; "Dreams"; "I Continue to Dream"; and "I Dream a World": http://www.poemhunter.com/langston-hughes/poems/
Technology Resources Needed:
iPad or laptop per group (optional)
Owl City "Fireflies" music video: http://vimeo.com/40617982
Round Robin Poetry activity description:
For this graphic organizer, students will use the graphic to organize the information. Have students pick the role they would like to serve first: Imager, Definer, Analyzer, or Interpreter. Once the student has completed the first stanza or section for that job, the student will then rotate or pass the job to the person to the right. Then each person in the group will complete a different job for the next stanza. No student should complete the same job twice. Once the entire poem has been analyzed and each job completed for each stanza, the group has finished the activity. It is a good idea to demonstrate the rotation process so students clearly understand.
Students should be sure to write their name in the section they have completed to receive credit for their participation in the activity.
Step Five (wrap-up):
This lesson may be modified to have students choose song lyrics to analyze as a group.
This lesson may be modified to have students write a poem based on those lyrics that carry the same theme. Then the students complete the Round Robin Poetry graphic.
To remeditate, the teacher may highlight or underline figurative language and vocabulary for students to identify the meaning.
Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom
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.