Sometimes, as an educator, I find it hard to prove to students the importance sound, rhyme, or style have in/on a piece of text. In poetry, the meanings of such could dramatically alter the thematic intent of the piece or the author's purpose. Therefore, in an effort to rectify this situation, I created a unique approach to teaching the poem, "We Real Cool" by Gwendolyn Brooks. The poem is the vehicle for understanding the skill--how we read a line can dramatically change the meaning of the line. This learning can be magnified for a piece of literature as a whole.
* This instruction and these steps truly create a sense of a cult-like reading of the poem. The lines change from pride to regret as the mob-mentality is suddenly shattered by the epiphany and realization of ONE. I teach this is connection with any novel that pits the group against the individual. It takes the efforts of many to create a group, gang, or cult. It takes only one to destroy that group. This poem, changes shape and theme, simply by adding sound or changing the style in which it is read.
Try it yourself. Students love it!
This lesson is highly interactive and engages students as a collective group.
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