Grade: all
Subject: Literature

#251. Poetry Intro

Literature, level: all
Posted by Dale Harris (
Carney-Nadeau Public School, Carney, MI USA
Materials Required: Music, pen, paper
Activity Time: 30 minutes
Concepts Taught: Poetry Interpretation

Assemble short clips (one minute each works for me) of music. Try to incorporate modern, instrumental or any variety.

Set the mood by closing shades, dowsing lights and having them clear their desks except for pen and paper.

Have the students sit and listen to the music clips one at a time. They are not to talk until all of the clips have been heard.

While listening to the clips, they can jot down anything that comes into their minds be it feelings, old memories, or whatnot.

After all the clips have been listened to have those willing share what they wrote.

This is a great way to introduce and create some enthusiam for poetry. Explain to them that poetry and music are lot alike and that even if they don't "get" the poem, odds are they can take something from it anyways whether it is a feeling or an assoiciation. Just as they can listen to music and not be able to hear or understand all the words, but they can tell what the song is about or at least get an impression of it.

Also point out that not eveyone wrote down the same things for the same songs. Poetry and music is open to all kinds of interpretations.

I like to follow this up by having them bring in their own musical selections, having them type up the lyrics, read them to the class and explain why they like the song.

A very good icebreaker for students cynical about poetry.