For the start of our poetry unit today, I tried out a new poetry lesson–the poem was “Routines” by Tom Wayman (found here).
LESSON: “Routines” by Tom Wayman
PURPOSE: to introduce students to poetry; to model a way of thinking about analyzing literature and providing support for that analysis
MATERIALS: copy of the poem for each student; handout (optional)
PREP TIME: very low
Here’s what I did:
- put the word “routines” on the board and asked students to make a mind map or list of 5 words or phrases that came to mind when they thought about the word (you can use the handout linked above)
- asked for a volunteer to read the poem out loud (the student who read it did a great job!)–if no one had volunteered I would have read it myself
- asked the students to do five minutes of freewriting on the following prompt, which I put on the board: “Now that we’ve read the poem, what did you think of it? How did it make you feel? Could you relate to it?” (students can write on handout)
- collected the writing and asked students to share any thoughts they had about it–when they were quiet I started them off by asking, “Did you like the poem?” which several of them responded to (they did like it and found they could relate to it)
- started a new mind map on the board, this time with the poem’s title and author in the middle circle
- elicited three words/phrases from three different students related to the poem–my students came up with “same old same old,” “relatable” and “like a machine”–and put them on the mind map
- I asked each student in turn to explain why they’d chosen these words/phrases, and to tell us the lines in the poem that had made them think of these words. I wrote the quoted lines (or part of them) on the board and drew connecting lines to the word/phrase that was inspired by each quote.
We had a good discussion. For follow-up, the students will write a reader response journal entry on the poem.
In case anyone is interested, Tom Wayman also wrote the poem “Did I Miss Anything?”