Practice with Poetry: Mary Oliver’s “Crossing the Swamp”

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Using Mary Oliver’s poem, "Crossing the Swamp”, students will review important poetic devices, close read and annotate poems, view supporting video clips, evaluate the writing prompt, formulate the thesis for a poetry analysis essay and examine scored student sample essays with commentary. A Ted Talk and NPR story focus on the theme of adversity as the figurative meaning of crossing a swamp is explored with a blind student playing on a college football field and a women athlete overcoming tremendous odds. A link to an appropriate rubric is included to assist with scoring the essays generated from the activity. This lesson prepares students for AP Literature exams, Common Core extended response assessments, the SAT essay and critical thinking activities.

In this resource there is a unique detailed rubric that can be used to score Socratic Seminars in a way that encourages organic fluid discussions. In the guide there is a step by step explanation on how to conduct a fish-bowl discussion with the rubric. The Socratic seminar acts as a poetry explication. The packet includes a complete lesson, common core standards, essential and key questions.

Key words: poetry explication, American Literature, Socratic Seminar, writing, poetry, AP Literature, critical thinking, Mary Oliver, annotations, literary devices, adversity, swamps
Total Pages
13
Answer Key
Included with Rubric
Teaching Duration
3 Days

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Practice with Poetry: Mary Oliver’s “Crossing the Swamp”
Practice with Poetry: Mary Oliver’s “Crossing the Swamp”
Practice with Poetry: Mary Oliver’s “Crossing the Swamp”
Practice with Poetry: Mary Oliver’s “Crossing the Swamp”