Here’s the second of two ideas I’d like to share in honor of Valentine’s Day:
Activity: Poetry Readings
Targeted Skill: Using romantic poetry to develop students’ understanding of rhythm in English
· Lord Byron’s She Walks in Beauty
· Elizabeth Barret Browning’s How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways… (Sonnet 43)
STEP 1: Listen to a poetry reading either online or via CD/cassette recording. (See above links.) Review vocabulary as needed.
STEP 2: Do a combination of readings to slowly build familiarity with the text and the rhythm of the given poem. Using the audio recording as a guide, have students use either underlining or stress dots to note the key words in each line. Also, have students use slashes to mark appropriate pausing.
· Reading 1: In chorus led by teacher.
· Reading 2: In pairs together.
· Reading 3: In pairs taking turns. Listener should give feedback to reader.
· Reading 4: Listen again to audio recording.
· Reading 5: In chorus led by teacher.
STEP 3: Formal recitation. This may be done in class or at a school event. Verses may be divided and assigned to students. Allow them to practice so that they can achieve a fluid reading. Encourage memorization of their assigned lines.