Author:
Deanna Delgado, Oregon Open Learning
Subject:
Language Education (ESL), Reading Literature, Speaking and Listening
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Level:
High School, Community College / Lower Division
Tags:
  • ELP Level 3
  • ELP Level 4
  • ELP Level 5
  • MLEL-Bank
  • Oregon OER Quality Framework
  • mlel-bank
    License:
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Language:
    English
    Media Formats:
    Audio, Downloadable docs, Graphics/Photos, Video

    Education Standards

    Theme Analysis in Poetry

    Theme Analysis in Poetry

    Overview

    In this lesson students will learn about Louise Erdrich and then read her poem “Advice to Myself #2: Resistance.” As students read they will analyze how the writer uses words, phrases, and details to communicate a theme. Students will discuss the message of the poem in both small and large groups and discuss how the author’s literary choices help communicate this message. Students will then write about a message in the poem and explain what lines most strongly communicate that message as evidence to support their thinking.

    LESSON DESCRIPTION

    Poetry Analysis with “Advice to Myself #2: Resistance” by Louise Erdrich

    Author of the Lesson: Deanna Delgado

    Lesson Summary/Overview: In this lesson students will learn about Louise Erdrich and then read her poem “Advice to Myself #2: Resistance.” As students read they will analyze how the writer uses words, phrases, and details to communicate a theme. Students will be able to discuss the message of the poem in both small and large groups and discuss how the author’s literary choices help communicate this message. Students will then write about a message in the poem and explain what lines most strongly communicate that message as evidence to support their thinking.

    Extension: Students will create their own poem based on the model or students can create a visual based on the lines in the poem.

    LESSON GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

    Alignment and Objectives

    Content Standards:

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.1

    Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.2

    Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.

    Craft and Structure:

    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.4

    Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.)                

    ELP Standards:

    9.12.1 An ELL can construct meaning from oral presentations and literary and informational text through grade-appropriate listening, reading, and viewing

    9.12.3 An ELL can speak and write about grade-appropriate complex literary and informational topics

    9.12.8 An ELL can determine the meaning of words and phrases in oral presentations and literary and informational text

    Content Objectives: Students will…

    • I can identify the theme of a text and use evidence from the text to support my thinking

    Language (ELP) Objectives:

    • I can use topic sentences and sentence frames in speaking and writing to explain how details from a text support my interpretation of a poem

    Supporting Academic Language

    Language Functions: Analyze, infer, break down, select

    Language Modalities: Receptive (listening, reading), Productive (speaking, writing), Interactive

    Vocabulary: Tier 1, Tier 2 (see vocabulary list)

    Syntax or Sentence Structure(s): n/a

    Discourse: Sentence Frames for small group and whole group discussion

    LESSON PREPARATION

    Considerations

    Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills: Students should have some basic awareness of the structure and format of a poem. Students should ideally also be familiar with literary terms that are used to describe a poem. Terms include: stanza, line, symbol, imagery, metaphor, connotation/denotation, theme, tone.

    vocabulary from poem: resist, savior, sentimental monikers, sorrow, logos, consumed, dismantle, excess, accolade, torment, irrationality, despairs, miraculous, desolate, radiant, weary

    Instructional Materials

    Resources, Materials, and Technology required or recommended for the lesson:

    • Computer and Projector
    • Doc Cam
    • Slides
    • Handouts of poem 
    • Video of poem
    • Sentence Starters
    • Frayer Model
    • Concept Map or Thinking Map graphic organizer
    • Optional (if doing group activity on paper): Chart Paper/Markers/Highlighters
    • Optional (if doing group activity digitally): student laptops or access to devices
    • Feedback form to use with students at end of lesson (view only, will need to create your own form)

    Learning Supports

    Socio-emotional supports: Personal writing, opportunities to share in partners, ability to reflect on their learning

    Cultural & Linguistic Responsiveness: Pre-teaching vocabulary, cognates

    Accessibility: graphic organizers, sentence starters, word bank, use of rewordify to simplify or paraphrase text if needed, color coding and highlighters

    Sentence starters

    One thing I notice is.... One line that stood out to me is.... One thing I related to was....because... The tone of the poem is...I believe this because.... One thing I think the speaker is trying to say is…becauseI connect to the poem because... One topic that the poem discusses is _________One line that confused me was _______ because_____

    Instructional Supports

    Differentiation: students will work with different sections of the text, heterogeneous grouping, drawing or writing opportunities

    L1 Supports: sentence frames, vocabulary, use of rewordify as needed, video/audio of text, ability to use class created theme statements

    L2 Development (by level): small group roles for writing and speaking

    LESSON PROCEDURES

    Anticipatory Set/Motivation/Hook

    Time: 10 minutes

    Teacher Does/Students Do: Teacher will project the following prompt: If you could give your past self any advice, what would you say? Or, what’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Teacher can also provide a definition of advice (an opinion that someone offers you about what you should do or how you should act in a particular situation). Teacher can offer some sentence starters and model for students by sharing their own thinking or writing on the question before having students write:

    • One thing I would tell myself is…
    • One thing I know now that I wish I knew when I was younger is…
    • One thing I’ve learned about life is…
    • The best advice I’ve ever received is…because…

    Students will have 5 minutes to journal and think about the question (students have the option to write in their home language where needed in order to better articulate their thoughts).

    After 5 minutes, students will engage in a Think-Pair-Share activity to read their answers. Students will be organized as Partner A and Partner B. Each student will get 1 minute to share their answers as the teacher walks around and listens to students.

    After both partners have shared, the teacher can then ask for volunteers to share out with the whole class. Additionally, the journaling could also take place in a Padlet or Jamboard, and then after students share, the teacher could project all the posts and read 1 or 2.

    Focused Instruction (Teacher-as-Model)

    Time: 10 minutes

    Teacher Does/Students Do: Teacher will review the term “theme” with students and do a quick pre-assessment on their knowledge of the term. You may consider having students read the statements with you, especially the highlighted sections in the slides (Theme is a meaningful main idea that is central to a story. Themes are important expressions of an author’s viewpoint and are portrayed through characters and other key literary devices. Themes are usually expressed indirectly, meaning they are not stated in the text. A theme starts by identifying a topic and then determining what the author is trying to say about the topic) Teacher will present some sample theme statements for popular stories or cartoons that students may be familiar with.

    If teaching this for the first time, students will create a Frayer model of the term. Teacher will also review key questions to ask ourselves when trying to identify a theme in a text.

    • What is the topic of this poem? What is the author trying to say about the topic?
    • Are there any words, phrases, or actions that are repeated?
    • What does the text teach the reader?
    • Why has the author chosen this particular subject?
    • What are the large issues or universal concepts the poet is talking about in this text?

     

    Teacher will then introduce the poem title as well as the vocabulary term resist to students. Teacher will display various images of resistance and will describe the images briefly. As a before reading activity, students will look at various images and come up with a definition of the word based on the images or what they know or heard described. Teacher will also display the word in Spanish or other relevant languages to recognize cognates (resistir).

    Guided Instruction (Teacher-to-Student Joint Responsibility)

    Time: 15 minutes

    Teacher Does/Students Do: Teacher will read a brief biography of the poet Louise Erdrich. Teacher will then present the video “Advice to Myself 2: Resistance”. Teacher will provide definitions of vocabulary terms from the poem. Words will be bolded in the text. Teacher can ask students to look at the bolded words and review the definitions. If there’s time, teacher might also read each word aloud and have students repeat the word or phrase.

    savior, sentimental monikers, sorrow, logos, consumed, dismantle, excess, accolade, torment, irrationality, despairs, miraculous, desolate, radiant, weary

    Next, the teacher will play a video of the poem, explaining to students that the task will be to determine what we think the speaker is trying to communicate to the audience based on the words and phrases that stand out to them. For the first viewing, students will watch and listen. Students will then listen a second time, noting/coding or highlighting. Students can choose to focus on 1 or all 3, depending on their readiness level:

    • lines that stand out to them or that they find interesting or powerful (!!)
    • lines that confuse them (??)
    • at least 3 things the speaker says to resist (______)

    *this could also be jigsawed, with students picking 1 to focus on and then sharing out in small groups

    Students will conduct a Think-Pair-Share-Square to discuss what they selected and why. Students will have 1 minutes to share out using the following frames:

    • One thing I notice is ______ because_____
    • One line that stood out to be is____ because____
    • One thing I related to was____because___
    • One topic that the poem discusses is _________
    • One line that confused me was _______ because_____

     

    Teacher will then call on students to share with the class using the sentence frames. As they share, the teacher can mark them on the text using a document camera and make annotations to represent what the student said about the text.

    Next, teacher will model breaking down a section of the text in more detail. Teacher will re-read the section to the students, labeling topics that are mentioned in the section, paraphrasing the section, and then writing what the speaker is trying to say and what details help the writer communicate the message. Teacher will write key ideas in the concept map organizer or can use the organizer on slides 12-13 (or a similar organizer) while students follow along or fill in the blanks or an organizer using some of the sentence stems.

    Excerpt of poem for the purpose of modeling:

    Resist the thought that you may need a savior,

    or another special being to walk beside you.

    Resist the thought that you are alone.

     

    Teacher think aloud: I notice the author repeats the word “resist” in this section. She is saying to resist thoughts that we may need a savior, so I understand that as her saying we shouldn’t feel we have to rely on others or be helpless and expect someone else or a higher power to come solve our problems or make our lives better. This sounds affirming, because it’s reminding me that I am strong and I can take care of myself and that I have the power to create the world and the life I want. And while that sounds a little lonely, she then tells us to resist the thought that we are alone, so she is saying that even though we can be independent and strong and in control of our own destinies, it doesn’t mean we are isolated or on our own.

    Group Application (Student-to-Student Joint Responsibility)

    Time: 25 minutes

    Teacher Does/Students Do: After viewing the teacher model, teacher and students can work to fill out the concept map or use the organizer on slide 13 for the whole class example. Students will then work in small groups (these can be arranged heterogeneously to encourage students to support one another as give less proficient students the opportunity to work with more proficient students) with a small section of the poem to close read (this can be as few as 1 stanza, or an entire page, depending on the amount of time you have). As they read, they will work to complete more entries in the concept map, noting

    • Key topics that are mentioned in their section
    • Words and phrases the list things the speaker says to resist
    • An explanation/analysis of the meaning of any powerful words, phrases, details (this sounds… this makes me think… this means…)

    Students will work in their groups to discuss the meaning of their section, using rewordify to break down any confusing words or phrases. Students will work together to complete the organizer on a poster, slide, or a graphic organizer. The teacher can conduct formative assessments with students during this time and see their progress and understanding of the text, offering feedback as necessary.  

    Students will then share what they wrote on their concept maps with the class and post their work on a poster paper or share their slides. As students present, students will add ideas to a concept map or other organizer. Then, students will engage in a brief gallery walk to complete the remainder of their concept maps based on new understandings from the other groups.

    Individual Learning (Independent Practice and Application)

    Time: 15 minutes

    Teacher Does/Students Do: Students will use their annotations and the student posters to discuss which lines they find most effective at communicating the theme. Teacher can model this process by going back to the original annotation and discussing a possible theme statement they could make based on the topics and the words/phrases. Teacher can model using the sentence frames here as well.

    One powerful theme about resistance I see is … I think this because the poem says… and this means/makes me think…I think this is important because…

    Students will write a brief paragraph using their annotations to answer the following question: After today’s activity and discussion, what is one powerful theme about resistance that you see in this poem? Use 2 details from the text (one can be your own, and one can be from another student or group) to support your thinking and explain what these details mean and how they communicate the theme.

    Students will come up with a theme statement (students can use the sentence frame) that expresses what they think a message of the poem is.  

    One powerful theme about resistance I see is … I think this because the poem says… and this means/makes me think…

    Students can end by reading their theme statements at their tables, or the teacher might collect student writing and share a couple of examples with the class.

    Closure

    Time: 10 minutes

    Teacher Does/Students Do:

    Students will reflect on their learning and understanding of the poem. Students can rate how well they feel they met the learning targets. Students can also list one line/section from the poem they found confusing or thought was challenging.

    ASSESSMENTS

    Formative Assessment

    Content: Small group posters and concept map organizers, small group and whole group discussion

    Language: Use of sentence starters when discussing. Use of academic vocabulary on posters and in speaking or writing.

    Plans for Summative Assessments

    Content: Students will complete a brief piece of writing that states a theme in the poem in the form of a One Pager. Students will write the theme, list examples from the text (or illustrate key examples). Students will explain how the words and phrases they choose/draw communicate the meaning.

    EXTENSIONS

    Students can write their own poem with advice they would like to give themselves.

    Students can create a series of illustrations, visuals, or examples of the things the writer has said to resist.