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Lesson on There Was a Child Went Forth and Eagle Poem

Lesson on There Was a Child Went Forth and Eagle Poem
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33 MB|22 pages
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This lesson is about understanding how imagery, structure, tone, and word choice are all interconnected with theme in poems. It uses the "Eagle Poem" by Joy Harjo as a basis for compare and contrast with the poem "There Was a Child Went Forth" by Walt Whitman to illustrate how the length of lines and number of lines in a poem, and its imagery, can impact its tone and help to convey its theme (which in both cases, for both poems, relates to how one's environment and experiences shape one's identity). It incorporates in artwork to appeal to students' artistic and creative aspects, and also includes an In-Class-Write follow-up lesson that reflects the short-answer response format of many standardized tests, but also helps students build from brainstorm to first draft, citing evidence (quoting the poems) and explaining using evidence that they've collected and built up towards, and makes students explain how all those poetic elements are connected and interact: how tone is established by word choice and imagery, as well as line lengths and number of lines (structure), and how these all convey the theme of a poem. The lessons cover not only analysis of poetry, but writing about poetry. There is also an exercise that appeals to the dramatic: students who like to perform will enjoy the mini-dramas that have all the same lines of dialogue, but in which the setting and characters dramatically alter the tone of the piece (depending on the circumstances); this relates to the differing interpretations of the poem "My Papa's Waltz," which could be read as an account of a father getting tipsy and dancing with his son, or of a drunken and abusive father beating his son viciously (the importance of 'connotation' of word choice is highlighted with this poem). Finally, the lesson also reviews the concept of end rhyme, perfect rhyme, and imperfect rhyme.
Total Pages
22 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 hours
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Brandon Juhl




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