POETRY PROJECT
Poetry Master (350 points placed in 3rd MP)
Poetry Master:
1. Complete the TFPD-PASTE template on the poem you would do every week (do this individually)
2. Chat online on Blackboard with your poetry partner about your poem or live if you can manage
time and work to create the lesson focus- the online conversation should show that you are
working through the meaning of the poem and the lesson creation idea.
3. Decide on the main poetic techniques for your poem and create a lesson plan for what you will
do to inspire the class to examine those techniques within the poem.
4. Present your poem to the class and run an activity related to it:
a. Complete a dramatic reading of the poem. Your voice must be involved. You have
options here:
i. You can create a video of the reading and do something with images as the poem
is read by you and/or your partner.
ii. You can read it to the class the day of the presentation- either each of you can
read it or you can do a dramatic reading together.
iii. You can create/present this with your partner or on your own.
b. Lead the class with the activity that you and your partner planned that helps get students
to go back into your poem and examine the main techniques you chose.
5. Write a formal explication paper of your poem individually- due a week from presenting your
poem to the class.
6. Complete a learning reflection paper- due along with your formal explication. You should take
notes throughout the time while you work with your poem so that you have something to refer
to for this paper.
Poetry Reading, Activity and Lesson Plan: You will complete an interesting and entertaining
dramatic reading of your poem (an oral interpretation) either live or taped and presented on your poem
presentation date and an activity that will prompt discussion of the poem and promote a return to the text
of the poem by your fellow students.
Dramatic Poetry Reading (50 Points): Oral interpretation of literature involves reading a piece of literature aloud in a
way that expresses your understanding of the piece. In other words, you will orally interpret the meaning of the text
by how you read the text aloud. Remember meaning is conveyed by how you say something. You need to
understand the impact the poem is making and how it is achieved. This means that you should take extra care in
your preparation of the poem in your DIDLS template. Once you understand what is being communicated, you can
use that knowledge to direct the moves you make in the oral interpretation. Watch the examples on my webpage.
You may present this live or have a video-taped performance. Please make sure that if you video tape it, you can give
me a copy.
You should keep the two main goals of oral interpretation in mind:
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Read to express your ideas and interpretations about the work
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Read to entertain your audience
Good oral interpretation involves:
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Preparation and practice
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Vocal variety
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Attentiveness to the audience
Planning and Leading a Lesson (50 Points): After you read your poem or present your video, you will need to
stimulate thinking and discussion of your poem with some kind of activity. THIS NEEDS PLANNING and focus on
what you want to get the class examining…you are becoming the teacher, the leader, the coach of helping students
discuss and think about your poem. You are NOT to stand and lecture about your poem’s meaning. Your activity
should initiate the discussion and should require that the students go back into the poem- not to link to their lives.
There are a variety of ways to do this. You should be creative and interesting. Think of some of our activities with
the introductory poems. Don’t be boring. Come up with an activity, create questions, have them use the dictionary,
play a game, have them draw the poem, etc. Try to do something that gets the students thinking about the poem
and something that requires students to return to the text of the poem for evidence.
I want this to be creative and interesting, but above all else, the activity should be related and appropriate to the
experience of the poem. You are not responsible for a full beginning to end activity, but an initial activity that you
prompt them with. It should last about 15 minutes maximum. At the end of the activity you should prompt the
students to what they should share. I will be there to help move the discussion along, but you are required to get us
started. You will also be able to keep notes and ideas on the promethean board to use later as you write your paper.
Lesson Plan DUE with your weekly poetry work: You must type this up and it must be handed in this in with your
TFPD-PASTE work by the due date for the weekly poem, but you can also hand it in earlier (this is suggested). Once
you get it back, you should improve it according to my suggestions and rework a final plan to be handed in on the day
of your presentation. It needs the following:
1. List the main techniques/ides that you and your partner think are the focus of this poem and get the reader
to understand the experience of the poem.
2. A statement and justification for the lesson. The lesson’s idea should be related to the unique experience
of the poem (do not just do an activity for the sake of the activity- PLAN something unique- this is what I am
evaluating you on). Look at what is essential to figuring out for the poem and you need a reasons for the
plan beyond thinking it would be neat. Begin with “Because the poem centers around (main experience of
the poem and the techniques) the activity created will prompt the students to examine (the aspect(s) of
the poem they will look at). I think they will (what you think they should find/see/understand about the
poem).
3. In a T-chart write out the steps of the plan on the left side that you will walk them through. On the right side
of the chart, write your reasons and what do you think they will find. This chart should be extensive and
SPECIFIC. You should have on here evidence from the poem and exact ideas of what they should find. Take
these ideas from your explication of the poetry- the prep for the poem using the poetry template. The chart
below is not representative of the size of the final chart you should have.
Steps of the plan
Reason for the step/what they should find
4. Attach the directions/handouts you will use/handout to students for your activity. I will have a promethean
board for you to use during your presentation, but if you want to have specific slides, email them in a
PowerPoint and I will create a flipchart of them for you to write on during your activity.
The plan should be grounded in your poem’s experience and what you believe you want students to notice about
how the poet achieves meaning. So first, you must spend time with it figuring it out and use me as a resource.
DO NOT:
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GOOGLE lesson plans or information about your poem.
Create a lesson that is about the author or how a poem makes the students feel or how it connects to their own life
You will be graded on the following:
Activity and Lesson: You must have a final typed lesson plan that follow the directions
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The justification of the lesson and the relevance of the activity to the poem- the CHART IS KEY!
The steps of the activity- both planned and how you execute the plan (even if it goes off-task, that is okay as long as it is relevant)
Your directions and how clearly the task is presented
How well the activity generates discussion and prompts the students to return to the text
Your understanding of the purpose of your lesson and command of the poem and your lesson
Dramatic Poetry Reading: The reading should clearly demonstrate your ideas and interpretations about the work.
Presentation:
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It should be obvious from how the poem is read that you know the poem very well.
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The reading of the poem should communicate the meaning of the poem- this should not be a flat boring reading!
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You should be well rehearsed- practice, practice, practice! Or the video should demonstrate time and effort.
Vocal variety- and how effectively you communicate the impact of the poem through your voice:
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Voice quality and volume: make sure that everyone can hear you. Vary your voice according to what you are reading- whisper, shout, laugh, etc.
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Clarity and articulation: pronounce every word clearly
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Rate, Pace rhythm: Your pace should vary for effect depending on what you are trying to convey to the audience
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Pitch and inflection: again this is to convey the meaning- emphasis on certain words or phrases to illustrate meaning.
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Attentiveness to the audience- good posture, gestures and eye contact- remember that you are speaking to them. Read to entertain your audiencekeep them interested.
Formal Explication & Learning Reflection (250 points):
The paper will be handed in a week after the class discusses the poem. It should contain two parts: (1) The
formal explication of the poem (200 points) and (2) The learning reflection (50 points)
FORMAL EXPLICATION Expectations (200 pts.): Scored on the 9-point AP Rubric

DO NOT READ OR USE ANY OUTSIDE SOURCES about the poem for this paper. You make look up
words and allusions. I am looking for your own thinking- DO NOT consult the Internet, library
sources, etc. for help. You may cite references that relate to allusions, but you should in no case
“Google” the poem as a whole or read anything that directly relates to your poem.

Your paper must follow all formal MLA writing conventions- heading, typed, one-inch margins,
regular font, etc. Include an original title for your paper- this should be linked to your thesis/claim.
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It is difficult to say exactly how the body of your paper should be structured or the length of the
paper because each poem will render a different result for the explication. You should think about
how the poem reveals its experience and figure out how the structure of your poetry explication will
discuss that. Each poem’s unique experience can provide multiple ways for a writer to explain it,
the only thing that will remain constant is that experience.
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You must use the language unique to the analysis of poetry.
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You must include evidence from the poem itself (quote lines properly- slash marks between lines,
line numbers where necessary).
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The explication itself needs to cover both the “micro” and the “macro” level of the poem.
o The micro level includes the individual lines and sections: what is happening at that moment in
the poem?
o The macro level includes the connections among the lines and sections: how does the line add
or correspond to other lines and sections? How does each element connect or relate to the
overall experience/impact of the poem? You need to view the poem as a whole even as you
work through its pieces.
Poetry Explication Paper
Remember: This is very similar to a literary analysis prompt in format- you goal is to explain how an author
achieves a meaning. In the case of poetry, that meaning should be the unique experience of the poem.
When writing an explication without a prompt, think about using the following to drive your thinking of the
explication if there is no prompt given:
1.
2.
3.
What is the speaker’s attitude toward the subject of the poem? Is this the same or different from the author’s purpose
(remember dramatic irony like in “One Art.”)
What is the central question that the poem is answering? Think about the poem as a response to a particular question
(remember “Kitchenette Building” and Can dreams thrive in an environment of rotting garbage and waiting in lines for a
lukewarm shower?)
How is the poem broadening or deepening the reader’s understanding of the subject and situation? Think about how
the author creates the details that help the reader understand something in a new or expanded way. (Think about “The
Red Wheelbarrow” and “After Apple-Picking”- how did that poet get you to see the scene of the red wheelbarrow in a
different way and how does the full experience of the day of apple picking yield satisfaction even when there is physical
pain and mental exhaustion?)
SYTLE is SOOOOOOOO important. Just because you are explaining the poem and how the author created
it does NOT mean that it should read like a page from Spark Notes. Treat the poem as a living being, in a
sense, and honor the artistry of the poet. You need to treat the poem with care and really show how you
have discovered its interesting aspects and unravel the artistic unity of the poem with care and precision
that is interesting and not canned. If you want to achieve at an A or B level of explication, it is your
understanding of the poem AND the way in which you explain the uniqueness of the poem that will help
you achieve at that level. Begin your style with an amazing title…not “Poetry Paper.”
Introduction Reminders:
 Don’t be general- stay within the poem and the experience there- don’t say “often in life there are
red wheelbarrows and chickens…”
 Include the poem name in quotation marks and the poet.
 Show you get the poem- the situation, the speaker, audience, etc. This is where some summary is
appropriate, but it should not be BORING…
 Your thesis is the impact statement. You need to make sure that you are asserting the specific
experience/meaning of the poem and how it is achieved in a way that feels like you have spent
time really crafting the statement. Your thesis should help you think about your paper structure.
Structure:
 Every poem is different and every writer is different. You need to examine both levels of the poemthe macro and the micro and you need to hit on how it creates its unique experience.
 You may choose to organize around idea, technique, section, but it needs to make sense for your
poem and fit with your thesis.
 Topic sentences should not summarize- instead think about which way you are organizing and add
in the how or why to a sentence that would otherwise just say the what. This will help get you away
from summary.
Evidence/Analysis:
 You need to use the language of poetry and you need to do more than just focus on WHAT the
poem says, but rather how it is crafted. This also means you have to do more than just look at
imagery…there is an entire tool kit available and you need to think beyond what you see. You need
to know techniques and you need to describe them with specificity NOT praise…in other words
saying “creative imagery” or “well-crafted sentences” or “strong diction” doesn’t really say anything
at all. You need to be precise in your language choice of verbs, adjectives and tone words.
 Don’t just let evidence stand on its own- you need to explain HOW it creates the experience…and
this is where the definitions of terms should help you explain things. Go further than you think you
should.
 You need to give context to evidence- you can’t just grab a bunch of words and not say what it is
talking about. Context is not just placement in the poem like stanza or line number, but what is
important to understand around the evidence.
 You need LOTS of evidence in which you are showing and explicating for the the reader what to
see and think about how it helps contribute to the impact. One piece or even two a point, probably
will be very simple and obvious.
Conclusion: Do something here…take a final step back and then tell the reader what to do with the impact
of this poem. Remind the reader of your final impression of the poem, but don’t do it in a way that merely
repeats what you already said word for word.
THE LEARNING REFLECTION (50 Points):
Tell the story of your learning process in a 3-4 page interesting reflection that follows normal conventions.
Don’t be boring, but do reflect on your process. What was your experience like from beginning to end? Pay
attention to how you structure this as well- some like to make it a reflection that follows each day you
spend, some like to separate their journey by titles and reflection, some like to keep it all together. It
should feel well crafted and contain content that is interesting.
You should include in your reflection the following:
 Your reaction to your first read of your poem.
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Your work with your partner.
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Your approach to understanding your poem- how did you go about trying to figure out the experience?
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Your practice of reading it aloud/preparing for the dramtic reading
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Your preparation for your lesson to the class.
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Your reflection on the lesson: how did the oral interpretation and class discussion help you figure out more
about your poem or help/change/enhance your understanding? If you were to lead it again, what would you
keep, change, add to your lesson.
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Your approach to coming to that claim/impact statement about your poem and the writing of the formal
paper.
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Include some of the following within the above reflection: what was difficult about your poem, what was
easiest about your poem, what did you discover at first and what did you figure out later on, how did your
understanding grow over time, what are you proud of, what did you find interesting, amazing, frustrating
about your poem, what do you still question or wonder about your poem, etc.
Name _____________________________ Poem _____________________________
Activity and Lesson: You must have a final typed lesson plan that follow the directions





The justification of the lesson and the relevance of the activity to the poem
The steps of the activity- both planned and how you execute the plan (even if it goes off-task, that is okay as long as it is
relevant)
Your directions and how clearly the task is presented
How well the activity generates discussion and prompts the students to return to the text
Your understanding of the purpose of your lesson and command of the poem and your lesson
Oral Interpretation: Your reading should clearly demonstrate your ideas and interpretations about the
work. THIS IS KEY!!
Preparation and practice:

It should be obvious that you know the poem very well. You should know the poem so well that you do not need to look down at the
paper very often.

You should be well rehearsed- practice, practice, practice!

You will also hand in a marked manuscript of the poem: Copy the poem onto another sheet- enlarge the writing and mark where you
want to pause, emphasize, etc.
Vocal variety- and how effectively you communicate the impact of the poem through your voice:

Voice quality and volume: make sure that everyone can hear you. Vary your voice according to what you are reading- whisper, shout,
laugh, etc.

Clarity and articulation: pronounce every word clearly

Rate, Pace rhythm: Your pace should vary for effect depending on what you are trying to convey to the audience

Pitch and inflection: again this is to convey the meaning- emphasis on certain words or phrases to illustrate meaning.

Attentiveness to the audience- good posture, gestures and eye contact- remember that you are speaking to them. Read to entertain your
audience- keep them interested.
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