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Home  >  Teaching and Learning  >  Writing Workbooks  >  High School
War Poem Lesson Plan
By Tracy R. Pulido

Day One: Students were given a week's worth of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner and the last two months of Newsweek. They read articles about the war and highlighted words that created images of war in their minds. They used the words to create two haiku. They wrote them on overheads and shared them with the class. AK. E/L standards A,B

Day Two: I showed them an overhead of a Community Perspective column from the 4/10/03 News-Miner by John Morgan (former head of the UAF English Department) called, Poetry serves as a song of life's events. In it he quoted Robert Frost, who said that poetry is, "A momentary stay against confusion." The article discussed the resurgence of poetry after 9/11. We discussed the article and about how there is need to express ourselves in times of crisis. We looked at "Fundamental Poetic Elements" (from a poetry pamphlet) --meter, verse forms, devices of sound, devices of sense: (figures of speech) metaphors, similes, personification, synecdoche, and stanza forms. We read Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen and Come up From the Fields, Father by Walt Whitman. We discussed the poetic elements in each. Students chose one of the poems and did a one-page literary critique, incorporating discussions on poetic elements in their chosen poem. AK. E/L standards A,B, C,D,E

Day Three: Students finished their critiques and wrote an original, longer (1-page minimum) war poem in the computer lab. They then wrote them on overheads, presented them and discussed the poetic elements therein.

(We had visiting poets come and give a workshop on one of the days.) AK. E/L standards A,B, D

About the Author: Tracy R. Pulido is a teacher at West Valley High School, Fairbanks.

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