I created this reading lesson for the poem "Naked" by Sara Holbrook (http://saraholbrook.blogspot.com). The poem speaks of an adolescent girl's experiences with learning about "naked", which overlaps with her history lesson on the Holocaust. For copyright reasons, I am only posting my graphic organizer and not a copy of the poem. It is a very powerful poem and worth using if you can find it. I first read it in Janet Allen's book Yellow Brick Roads: Shared and Guided Paths to Independent Reading 4-12, a common text you might be able to locate in your professional library.
I open the lesson by simply writing the word "naked" on the board and asking the students to freewrite about what comes to mind when they think of this word. We then share our ideas. I do remind the students to keep it school appropriate, and I have never had any problems. I get responses ranging from the serious (embarassment, birth) to the completely silly (naked hot dog). The reading lesson asks the students to read the poem and then to analyze it using a series of open-ended questions. The students are instructed to decide if they agree or disagree with each statement and to provide textual support for their answers. The directions for the lesson read, "Read the poem "Naked" by Sara Holbrook with your partner. After reading, discuss each statement with your partner. Decide whether you agree or disagree with each statement. Finally, write the textual support for your answer in the appropriate column."
NOTE: I did not provide an answer key for this document. The students could provide a wide variety of answers based on the information in the poem as long as they can use the text to provide logical support for their reasoning.
I have followed this lesson with two different short written assignments. The first asks the students to explain the author's use of irony, a strong element to the poem. For a more creative option, I ask the students to write about a time when they experienced something for the first time.
The preview allows you to view a JPEG of the graphic organizer.
literature, poetry, irony, reading, literary analysis, Holocaust, think-pair-share