TEDTalk: Why People Need Poetry (Why we study poetry) worksheet

TEDTalk: Why People Need Poetry (Why we study poetry) worksheet
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This is a worksheet that accompanies a free TEDTalk ("Stephen Burt: Why people need poetry") that can be downloaded on iTunes (either an audio version or a video version). The TedTalk is about 14 minutes long. I give my students this worksheet after we watch the clip. I selected 3 of the most significant quotes from the speaker and ask students to think critically about each of them and respond (according to specific questions I ask on the worksheet).

At the end of the worksheet is a poem by WH Auden ("Funeral Blues"). Students are asked to connect this to certain things the speaker in the TEDTalk has talked about and tie them together.

I do this with my class before beginning our poetry unit. It gets them thinking about reasons why we spend so long reading poetry (to empathize with people, to express ourselves, to understand the lives of people from all different places and time periods, etc.). A great activity for students studying poetry!

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2 pages
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