Monday, January 31, 2005

Observations! and Small Poetry Lesson

I heard back from my cooperating teacher, so hopefully I will be able to do some observing this week! They are doing BST (Basic Skills Tests) Testing on Tuesday and Thursday, so the schedule is a little off, but I think that's something that will always be a part of teaching--dealing with prom and pep rallys and testing and scheduling... Losing time in some classes and not in others, etc.

Tomorrow we get to do a mini-lesson in poetry. I think I am going to do the question of audience and bring in the Adrienne Rich poem I wrote about earlier. I think what I'm going to do with my students (on a regular basis) is have them sign up for a day--once or twice a month--and bring in a poem they found that struck them; read it out loud to the class and tell us why you selected that poem. (This may be a good activity to start--maybe on the first or second day of class, so we can get discussing right away and also explain the expectations of bringing in poems on a regular basis. It might also establish me as someone who is no-nonsense, since we'll talk about the importance of audience and respect right away.)

This particular lesson will begin by reading the Adrienne Rich poem. We will then talk about any moments of confusion and moments that particularly struck the students. (I will explain why I personally chose the poem--and this will be a personal reflection, rather than a literary-type one. It's important for me to show how poetry is accesible and enjoyable on just a pleasure-reading basis.)

I will also include this interview with Bill Moyers on this poem. We'll then discuss what it has to say.

We'll follow that up with an activity where the students will pick a roll from a hat ("middle aged college professor, driving home from work" and "high school freshman, trying out for the football team", etc.) and write a poem on a particular topic (I haven't quite thought of a good one yet--something that the students will be familiar with and won't have a lot of trouble writing about) with that audience in mind. Students will then read the poem to their classmates and students will guess what kind of audience the poem was written for--

The point is that sometimes it is clear, sometimes it is universal, sometimes it's about who the poem is not intended for.

We will also discuss being respectful when we consider our audience--that it's not just enough to be "school appropriate." We must understand that the Golden Rule isn't some hokey thing we were taught when we were in elementary school--we really must treat people the way we wish to be treated.

If it goes over well, I will put it up with my Life is Beautiful Lesson Plan. I would like to get as many lessons up on the web as possible. :)

Here are some good links on things that are on my mind (the program's main page and a resume tips page--I hope to sign up for a resume workshop next month, though the signup link is a "dead link" and the person I emailed about it hasn't written back yet).

U of MN Education & Human Development Dept.
Resume Tips

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