Poetry Pairings

It took about 12 hours, but an idea finally began to percolate.  Yesterday afternoon I watched a TED talk about The Museum of Four in the Morning.  I loved it; it did not serve the purpose I needed, so I moved on and kept searching for other texts that related to the lesson plan I was writing.

Then, at almost three this morning, I realized this talk was a perfect example of a full-circle ending. If you have fourteen minutes to devote to an interesting story of coincidence, it would be worth it to use this example of how connecting the introduction and the conclusion can tie up a speech/essay/story with the nice little bow of a full-circle ending.

But then, I thought about the reality of taking fourteen minutes to talk about one example of a strong introduction and conclusion; that’s too much time, not enough substance.  So, I started thinking about the conclusion itself, and wondering, as I often do, would students even find this interesting, or does it just show what a nerd I am for loving the romantic gesture of the mixtape?

And that’s when it hit me that this might make a good introduction to a lesson of poetry pairings.  It’s almost April and teachers are always looking for fresh projects to teach poetry, (spoiler alert), so why not introduce students to Paul Simon and Wislawa Szymborska and then let them go out and make their own mixtape or pair a poem with a visual text or a current event or another poem?  So many options; such potential for deep thinking about the meaning of a poem and making connections across texts on the students’ own terms.

And so I leave you with this incomplete idea, to let it percolate in your own mind as we enter April…how will you pair poetry with another text (and this TED Talk) to help students think deeply about multiple texts?

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