Teaching Poetry In Action: Pairing with Dystopian Texts

Grade Levels
9th - 12th
Formats Included
  • Streaming Video(cannot be downloaded)

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Poetry is one of the most powerful supplementary texts available to teachers and also one of the most nerve-wracking and frightening things to teach. In this video, I share a combination of techniques: the Big Six analysis tool, pairing poetry with Essential Question based and genre-based units to help teachers feel confident teaching poetry.

The poem we walk through in this video is called "Prayer for the Mutilated World" by poet Sam Sax. I will share with you exactly how I'd teach it to students, what comments I'd make, the details that I find to be important to stop for, and highlight two elements of The Big Six that I would focus on.


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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Analyze nuances in the meaning of words with similar denotations.
Interpret figures of speech (e.g., hyperbole, paradox) in context and analyze their role in the text.
Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful.


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