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Teacher: Darla Grant Annotate a Poem to Prepare for an AP-Style Essay

In this lesson, students will be practicing annotating a poem. Annotation has been a skill that weve practiced all year. Students will read an AP style prompt about a poem, annotate the poem for the prompt, and prepare to write an in-class, timed essay during the next class period.

Lesson Title: Dickinson Poetry

Learner Description and Purpose:
Learners are 9th Grade Honors English Literature Students in the pre-AP Literature class. Students are familiar with the annotation process, but they are new to applying it to AP style questions and prompts. Dickinson is a particularly favorite poet of College Board. This lesson should help 9th grade students make the connection between annotation, writing, analysis, and poetry.

Students will read and annotate a poem to determine how a poet uses poetic/literary devices to reveal meaning, identify their interpretation, and prepare to write an in-class essay on a poem.

Common Core Standards Covered:

Reading for Literature 1 (RL.1): Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. RL.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of a text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text. RL.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone. RL.5 Analyze how an authors choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it, and manipulate time to create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise. RL.10 Read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grade 9-10 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range. W.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. W.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Students in Honors Literature have been practicing annotation of novels, short stories, and poems to identify the authors use of literary devices in order to convey meaning. Students will read Emily Dickinsons poem, I heard a Fly buzz When I Died, and then annotate the poem for the given AP-style prompt. To assist students with interpretation, the class will watch John Greens Crash Course Literature video about this poem. Once students have watched the video, they will be given 20 minutes in class to read and annotate the poem. Then, the teacher will use the remaining class time to discuss their interpretations and those of Green. The teacher will also show a short video that includes an example of annotation for this poem.

Relative Advantage:
Using a professional video to enhance the lesson on Dickinson adds depth to the lesson as the video includes illustrations to discuss contradictions in the poem, a fast-paced and dynamic approach to poetry, and a discussion of Dickinson's life and approach to language. Using the video will engage the student's senses and keep them actively focused on the material.

Timeline: This lesson will take one 50-minute class period to complete. Activity Materials:
Students will be given paper of copies of the poem and prompt to annotate during class. The class will watch the Green video on the projector, and the teacher will also project her video of the sample annotation.

Grouping Strategies: Students will be working independently on this project as it is the first
part of completing an individual timed essay.

Technology: Students will watch John Greens video Before I Got My Eye Put Out The
Poetry of Emily Dickinson: Crash Course English Lit #8. John Green is an award-winning author of young adult fiction. He is well known by students as a dynamic YouTube vlogger. He created a series titled Crash Course in which he explores different concepts in literature and world history. The video being used in this assignment is a discussion of Emily Dickinson. Green discusses the types of themes commonly found in Dickinsons poetry and relates those themes back to her life. The video is rife with references to popular culture, which keeps the students engaged. Green also speaks at a quick pace and keeps the information moving so as not to get stale. Finally, the video analyzes Dickinsons poem I heard a fly buzz-when I died

paying particular attention to Dickinsons style, punctuation, and various meanings for the poem. Students will be able to use this video to help them interpret the poem for their own essays. The teacher has also created a video to help students see the types of annotations that would be effective for analyzing the Dickinson poem.

Student Assignment Instructions:

Read the prompt. Determine what the prompt is asking you to do in your essay. Annotate the prompt for the most important words and concepts. Think about poetic devices that frequently appear in poetry, and how they could be used to answer this prompt. Read the poem. Watch the John Green video and take notes to help you interpret the poem. Read the prompt again. Read the poem again. Annotate the poem poetic/literary devices. Label the devices and try to determine how Dickinson is using them and for what effect. Watch the teachers annotation video to help you see the annotations that might be effective for this poem and this prompt. Finally, write a rough draft of a thesis statement to answer the prompt for the paper. You will be turning in your annotations at the end of class. The annotated poem will be returned to you during the next class for you to use to write your essay.


(Suggested time40 minutes. This question counts as one-third of the total essay section score.)

I heard a Fly buzzwhen I died by Emily Dickinson imagines the actual moment of death being recalled by the speaker. Read the poem carefully. Then write a well-organized essay in which you analyze how poetic devices help to describe the speakers perceptions of death. You may wish to consider such poetic devices as repetition, point of view, and tone.

I heard a Fly buzzwhen I died The Stillness in the Room Was like the Stillness in the Air Between the heaves of Storm The Eyes aroundhad wrung them dry And Breaths were gathering firm For that last Onsetwhen the King Be witnessedin the Room I willed my KeepsakesSigned away What portion of me be Assignableand then it was There interposed a Fly With Blueuncertain stumbling Buzz Between the lightand me And then the Windows failedand then I could not see to see 5



Teacher Instructions:
Introduce the assignment by handing out the poetry prompt and explaining that students will write an essay on the prompt during class the following day. Read the prompt and the poem aloud with students. Ask if there are any questions regarding the assignment or definitions they need for the vocabulary in the poem. (Dont analyze the poem as that is part of their assignment.) Watch John Greens video Before I Got My Eye Put Out The Poetry of Emily Dickinson: Crash Course English Lit #8. Discuss Greens interpretation of the poem. Ask students to think about the fly and its meaning while they are writing their annotations. Have students consider the following questions: What does the fly symbolize? How does the depiction of the fly contribute to the speakers perception of death? Does the stylistic form of the poem contribute to an understanding of the speakers perception of death?

Give students the next 20 minutes to work on their annotations. There should be about 15 minutes of time remaining in class to show the video of the teacher annotations. Show the video and ask students if they have any questions about the poem, the essay, or the writing process. If there is any time left, allow students to complete their annotations and collect the poetry prompt with their annotations at the end of class.

There is no direct assessment for this lesson. Students will be assessed on the essay written in the next class period. Students will write an essay to answer the prompt using the Dickinson poem. All objectives will be assessed in the essay.

Adaptations for Learners with Special Needs:

Adaptations are not applicable as there are no students in this class with special needs. However, I will email the videos to students who would like to review them more thoroughly on their own time, and students with an IEP or 504 plans may qualify for more time writing their essay in class.