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This product is a zip folder containing a PowerPoint presentation that corresponds with three poems and activities: “This is Just to Say” by William Carlos Williams, “We Be Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks and “Snow” by David Berman. They are all poems appropriate for middle school students with an unusual twist. It makes for an interesting lesson, to say the least.
First, the Word document is editable. This is because all three poems are currently still under copyright. A text box has been placed within each document for an easy cut/paste. For all three poems, the students are asked to find the central idea by citing a line from the poem and how this can relate to the author’s central idea. Then, there is an individual activity for each of the three poems ranging from a sentence stem to challenge questions.
There is a PDF file for a scavenger hunt for the second part of the lesson. What I did was laminate the poems (PowerPoint slides) and placed them around the room. The students need to write a creative poem using each of the three poems as inspiration. There is a space for a Haiku poem, a Found poem and a shape poem. There is also a chart to label poetic elements found in the three poems.
“This is Just to Say” is a poem about eating someone else’s food. I show a short video clip from the tv show, “Friends” when someone ate Ross’ sandwich. The kids got a kick out of that. “We Be Cool” we discussed the bluntness of poem and the author’s idea of “losing it all” when poor choices are made. “Snow” is a unique poem as it can have many interpretations. I allow the students to make their inferences but end up explaining that it’s probably about the vulnerability of a younger sibling believing whatever he is told.
The lesson proved to be awesome! I hope you enjoy it as well. I attached an “average” student’s example of the work as well.