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KS3 Poetry

Discussion in 'English' started by peterbarry46, Dec 28, 2018.

  1. peterbarry46

    peterbarry46 New commenter

    Hi fellow teachers
    I've been given a unit called 200 years of poetry which covers Blake, Shelley, Emily Dickinson and Owen. It's supposed to be a unit which aims to make the students more comfortable with poetry. However, the class is a real handful (some difficult characters, poor attitude to learning) and I am not at all confident in my understanding and knowledge of these poets and poems. Can anyone suggest a way through this puzzle for me? Many thanks in advance.
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. roamingteacher

    roamingteacher Established commenter Forum guide

    Could you add a competitive element to engage them?
    Just off the top of my head so I'm sure you could refine - do some teamwork stuff to build the relationships, accountability and set expectations. Then assign each team either a theme / time period / poet / literary features (or whatever works for you) and they have a limited amount of time to produce something related to that area. For example, they could produce a multiple-choice boardgame which - as other students play - they naturally learn (just like you do in Trivial Pursuit, as even when you get the question wrong, you learn the right answer). If you've access to laptops or iPads it could be Kahoots or Jeopardy boards - whatever you have the materials for and can monitor without too much stress. You could set up a league or something similar. This project might last 2 weeks before moving into tackling the actual poems and while studying the texts, you could continue the league awarding points for being able to find connections between the poems or the poems' features and the intro activities. Take a look at some gamification posts and sites (eg ClassCraft) to build on and enhance this idea. (Personally, I like to keep groups of 2-3 as more than this becomes a blame game - in this activity, it also gives you plenty of groups to pair up and play.)
    Or you could go totally old school and lecture the poems at them, giving them graphic organisers to complete which are then assessed - again this could have a competitive element but doesn't have to.
    Hope this sparks something.
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  3. roamingteacher

    roamingteacher Established commenter Forum guide

    A few more ideas:
    • Link the poets to modern songwriters, movies etc e.g. https://goo.gl/K25hXT
    • Link through theme of death (depressing, but depending on their age they might like all the melodrama)? https://goo.gl/A0BIVO
    • Present as writers who went against the grain in their own way - can students connect this to themselves, another text or the world around them?
    Also, if doing competitive activities, they could name themselves according to aspects of the unit .
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  4. peterbarry46

    peterbarry46 New commenter

    Thank you so much for your help. I love idea of linking Blake to modern rebels and makes lots of sense to explain how they were the rebels of their eras. I also like idea of competitive element and them creating a multiple choice quizzes. Perhaps leaving the actual poetry itself for a week or two. Thanks again - you have really helped!

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