8th Grade ELA : Unit #6 - Unlocking Mood and Other Elements of Horror : Lesson #11

Comparing "Annabel Lee" and "Ulalume"

Objective: SWBAT identify elements of similarity and difference in two of Poe's poems, "Annabel Lee" and "Ulalume"
Standards: RL.8.5 RL.8.10 SL.8.1b L.8.4
Subject(s): English / Language Arts
60 minutes
1 Latin Roots Warm Up - 10 minutes

This is our daily warm up, wherein students work with two or three Latin roots per day.  The resource that I use to get my roots is Perfection Learning's Everyday Words from Classic Origins.
Every day, when the students arrive, I have two Latin roots on the SmartBoard.  Their job is to generate as many words as they can that contain the roots, and they try to guess what the root means.  After I give them about five minutes, we share words and I tell them what the root means.

The students compile these daily activities in their class journals.  After every twelve roots, they take a test on the roots themselves and a set of words that contains them.

2 Venn Diagram: In Partners - 40 minutes

At this point in the unit, the students have read both "Ulalume" and "Annabel Lee."  So, I put them into partners to complete Venn diagrams about content, structure, and poetic elements.

This activity takes a really long time, because -- though we have read aloud, discussed, and identified elements in -- both poems, the students have to make all of the notes and decisions themselves.



Advanced Vocabulary

As a former high school teacher and lifelong reader, I find myself introducing words that may be a bit advanced for my students.  Today's example was "anaphora."  We have talked about anaphora before, and Poe uses it quite liberally.  However, anaphora is not really an eighth grade word and the students can struggle with it.

My rationale for teaching it (in context, in appropriate places) is that it doesn't make sense to me to teach students less specific terms, simply because they are younger.  So, why use the term "repetition" which is correct, yet general, when you can explain to the kids what anaphora means.

Don't get me wrong: If you are thinking that many people live their whole lives without knowing the word, "anaphora," well, you are right.  But, the way I see it is that, if we are going to talk about something, why not call it by its proper name?