Most students actually like to quote relevant verses, critique artists, emulate rhythm or style, relate entire anthologies to various worldviews, and create personally meaningful (play)lists of any genre’s masters. They also tend to revel in themes such as beauty/ugliness, acceptance/rejection, love/hate, leisure/work, hope/despair, and evil/justice. But when asked to use these same skills to analyze elements of poetry or literature, many teens become tone deaf. Yet a love of music can usher students into a literary universe far beyond the confines of their mp3 earbuds.
Katie Engens's series, 'Well-Versed: Critical Thinking in Literary Terms for the MP3 Generation' helps students discover that universally cool ideas exist in all kinds of verse. Activities based on eclectic mash ups of classic poetry, country ballads, ageless sonnets, rock music, elegant verse, or raps get students jazzed to use critical thinking, manage literary concepts and compose original work.
Unit 2 of Well-Versed, 'Heartache While Others Are Watching' compares the lyrics of a country song, a rap hit, and a snippet of Shakespeare's 'Hamlet.' These three angsty romances grab student attention so they're excited to explore poetic structure and the language techniques of effective writers. Unit exercises cover rhyme scheme, rhythm, poetic form, simile, metaphor, analogy, alliteration, theme, writing style, effect of grammar/punctuation, speech style, tone, mood, voice, letter writing, and context.
Teacher Pages: 5 - intro (1), answers & insight (4),
Student Pages: 9 ready-to-assign pages with multi-modal tasks
Unit Lyrics Pages: 4
The full unit is in just one PDF. If for some reason this file is hard to manage, please notify me at email@example.com and I will be happy to email you the PDF directly.