12th Grade ELA : Unit #10 - Romantic, Victorian, and Modern British Poetry : Lesson #9

A-P-P-L-A-U-S-E: Put Your Hands Up for Illuminated Poetry Presentations

Objective: SWBAT share the evocative experience of their poems by presenting their illuminated poetry projects.
Standards: RL.11-12.4 SL.11-12.2
Subject(s): English / Language Arts
60 minutes
1 Teacher to Teacher: Lesson Time Frame and Context - 0 minutes

This is the final lesson in the British poetry unit. Today students present their illuminated poems. My district uses a trimester system in which students meet five days a week for 75 minutes. Each trimester lasts 12 weeks, but this final trimester w/ seniors is only 11 weeks long. Consequently, we devote only today to presentations, and those who don't present will submit their projects via email. 

2 Present for Applause, Applause, Applause - 75 minutes

To determine who presents, I ask for volunteers. Students already have a sense of how well their projects will be received since they have spent two class periods in the lab and have had the opportunity to ask questions and receive feedback from their peers and their teacher. 

Three projects are featured here, both for their excellent illumination of classic British poems. The first project was illuminated using Prezi. Illuminated Poem "Still to be Neat" mp4 is a recording of the student's Prezi. The poem is from 1609, but the presentation shows how relevant Ben Johnson's ideas are in the 21st Century.

The second project captures the tone and Romantic spirit of "Ode on a West Wind" by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Each image speaks of the Romantic appeal to nature. The student used Power Point to Illuminated "Ode on a West Wind".mp4, but because the file was too large to email, she uploaded it to Google Drive, which made it accessible in class. Her original Power Point is here: Ode to the wild west wind Kiandre.pptx, and I include it to illustrate how transitions change this old-school tech platform. 

Finally, one featured student illuminated "Not Waving but Drowning." The student bridges the poem with a contemporary pop song that the class noticed fits perfectly with the poem's theme. I talked w/ the student after his presentation about the ideas in the poem, particularly the contrast of a seemingly happy person who drowns both on the inside and literally. Illuminated Poem "Not Waving but Drowning".mp4 has a couple of surface errors, but they don't diminish the quality of the work and the connection the student made w/ the poem.

Additionally, Illuminated Poem: The World is too Much with Us.mp4 was created by a student who excels in math but who has a language processing challenge that makes traditional work in English a challenge. He created the project w/ no assistance, but clearly he has an extraordinary grasp of the poem.


Aha Moments

A beautiful thing happens when students do fabulous work: They take pride in their academic accomplishments; they make enduring memories in the classroom just as they do on the playing field; they compare their work to that of their peers and offer feedback about what they would do differently. This happened on several levels as students who crowded too much text onto frames and slides verbally proclaimed this after watching a really good presentation, and they spoke of their "wish I'd done thats" when they realized that music adds to the communicative value of the projects. As a consequence, I suggested they modify and resubmit their projects; I'm more concerned w/ the process of learning, knowing the product will follow both the process and progress.