Reading Poetry


ELAR-Grade-8 Literary Genres Reading Poetry
Students respond to a shape poem. Then they explore in depth the use of graphical devices in poetry. Next, they study figurative language and explain an extended metaphor. Finally, they write a poem using extended metaphor.

This learning experience is designed for device-enabled classrooms. The teacher guides the lesson, and students use embedded resources, social media skills, and critical thinking skills to actively participate. To get access to a free version of the complete lesson, sign up for an exploros account.

1:1 Devices
Teacher Pack

The Pack contains associated resources for the learning experience, typically in the form of articles and videos. There is a teacher Pack (with only teacher information) and a student Pack (which contains only student information). As a teacher, you can toggle between both to see everything.

Here are the teacher pack items for Reading Poetry:

Preview - Scene 1
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Engage


Overview

In this experience, students respond to a shape poem. Then they explore in depth the use of graphical devices in poetry. Next, they study figurative language and explain an extended metaphor. Finally, they write a poem using extended metaphor.

The Student Pack contains the full text of the poems quoted from in Scene 1 to Scene 3. You may have students read and discuss them at any point.

Objectives

  • Describe how poets use graphical elements.
  • Explain a poet’s use of extended metaphor.
  • Compose a poem with figurative language.

Duration

Two class periods.


You have probably read some poems in previous years. In this experience, you will learn how poets use graphical elements and figurative language to enhance their poems’ effects and meaning.

Objectives

  • Describe how poets use graphical elements.
  • Explain a poet’s use of extended metaphor.
  • Compose a poem with figurative language.


Text of William B. Yeats’s poem “A Drinking Song,” in the shape of a wine bottle

This picture is of wine bottles, and the picture is also a poem. Read the words in their original form:


Wine comes in at the mouth

And love comes in at the eye;

That’s all we shall know for truth

Before we grow old and die.

I lift the glass to my mouth,

I look at you and I sigh.

—William Butler Yeats


Why is the shape in the picture appropriate for the words of the poem? Do you like the poem when it’s in that shape or not, and why?

Post your answer

Briefly discuss student’s responses to the poem and its shaped version. Tell students that in this experience, they will learn how poets sometimes use the visual appearance of poems on the page to help convey the poems’ meaning.

The poem is “A Drinking Song,” by William Butler Yeats, who was perhaps the greatest English-language poet of the 20th century. Published in 1916, it is far from the most serious of Yeats’s works, and its light, romantic, wistful humor makes it a good candidate for re-setting as a shape poem even though the poet did not intend it that way.


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The Complete List of Learning Experiences in Literary Genres Unit.
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