Check all students have photographs of their 'significant other'. Why are they significant?
What do we mean by the term 'significant other'? Ask each student to come up with five adjectives to describe their own 'significant other'.
Poets write about their 'significant others' using a variety of means both to describe the person in a poem, and - more subtly - to evoke their relationship. This lesson will explore the ways two poets do this, and, after the class has analysed the two poems, students will write their own poem using some of the techniques uncovered in class.
The teacher plays the recording of Owen Sheers reading 'Not Yet My Mother'. Students read the text of the poem as they listen to the recording.
Students in pairs discuss the poem and feed back to class, focusing on:
- ALLITERATION, eg
Yesterday I found a photo
of you at seventeen,
holding a horse and smiling,
not yet my mother.
The tight riding hat hid your hair,
and your legs were still the long shins of a boy's.
You held the horse by the halter,
your hand a fist under its huge jaw.
- REPETITION, eg 'yet', 'still', 'seventeen', 'horse', 'smiling'
- STRUCTURE: the poem is circular, ie ends with the photo, as it opened. But by the end a paradoxical change has taken place.
Teacher to check on and prompt discussion by circulating round the class. Then feedback is taken, and points noted on the whiteboard.
Repeat this process for Seamus Heaney's poem, Mossbawn Sunlight:
Play the recording, as students follow the text.
Students then discuss the poem and feed back to class, this time focusing on alliteration, assonance and imagery. The teacher again highlights points on the whiteboard.
The teacher now leads a discussion on the two poems, looking in particular for points of similarity and difference, and sums up the kinds of technique each poet uses in order to convey 'the significant other'.
Students look at the photos they have brought in.
They are asked to 'cluster' (mindmap) around the five adjectives they came up with at the start of the lesson, in order to create a 'verbal palette' from which to 'paint' their poem. For example: young-vulnerable-childlike-toys; cricket bat-cricket-match-summer-ball falling. For more information on clustering, see 'Meade Communications'
Students write their own poems using 'clusters'.
Students read finished poems out to class, and share feedback.