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How We See Things Intro: Emily Dickinson and Billy Collins Poetry

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Peter Sabath

on 27 January 2017

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Transcript of How We See Things Intro: Emily Dickinson and Billy Collins Poetry

Unit Intro Warm-up: Look at the following four stereograms. What 3D images do see when you stare at the images and slightly cross your eyes? The first students to see each image can draw it on a piece of paper and raise your hand to share with the class!


Unit 3: How We See Things
Our view of the world depends not only on our five senses but also on technology and surprising insights
Unit Overview: During this unit we will read poetry, a science essay, a short story, and a novel (
The Bluest Eye
by Toni Morrison) that all deal with how humans use their five senses and technology to perceive and interpret the world around them.
Warm-up 2: Emily Dickinson Poetry

Today we'll read two short poems about how our eyes and vision are central to seeing things. But what happens if we don't have eyes? What would happen if you didn't have your vision for a day or the rest of your life?

Can a volunteer come to the front of the room to put on a blindfold at tell us what you see without your eyes? What do you see now that you're in darkness?

Next, can we get a second volunteer to lead this student down the hall and back wearing the blindfold?

And lastly, can we get a volunteer to record their short adventure around the halls of the B Wing?

When you return, we'll watch the video and the blindfolded student can tell the class what it was like being blindfolded and walking in darkness for a few minutes.

Emily Dickenson was a 19th
century poet who only
published seven poems in
her lifetime. After she
died, her sister found a little
box filled with 1,775 poems.
All of her poems were
published after her death.

The poems we'll read today were written by Emily after she saw a doctor for aches in her eyes and sensitivity to light. Both of the poems use imagery related to sight and light.

Turn to pages 156-157 in your Collections textbook!

Guided Practice:

1. Read "We grow accustomed to the Dark" as a class (p. 156)

2. Identify number of stanzas and meter (pattern of unstressed/stressed syllables). Teacher models how to mark and identify type of meter (See handout)

3. Paraphrase and summarize each stanza. Teacher will model how to do this.
Notes: Important Poetry Terms -

Meter - the repeated pattern, or rhythm, of stressed
and unstressed syllables in each line of poetry

Foot - the combination of two or three syllables

iamb - a metrical foot consisting of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable (a pair of syllables)

Trimeter - three metrical feet (six syllables, unstressed followed by stressed)

Tetrameter - four metrical feet (eight syllables, unstressed followed by stressed)

Pentameter - five metrical feet (ten syllables, unstressed followed by stressed
Independent Practice:

1. Read "Before I got my eye put out" as a class (p. 157)

2. In pairs, identify number of stanzas and meter (pattern of unstressed/stressed syllables). Mark and identify type of meter (See handout).

3. Paraphrase and summarize each stanza.

4. Student pairs share responses on handout and complete independent reflection (Closure)

1. Complete handout if you didn't finish in class.

2. Answers Analyzing the Text study questions 1-6 (p. 159)
Warm-up Day 3

1. Homework Check

2. Share student responses from previous day in handout
Day 4 Independent Reading Extension:

Students complete Close Reader extension activity for Billy Collins poetry (Close Reader, pp. 57-62)

Complete all activities assigned in book. For guided practice, teacher and students work on first poem as a class and for independent practice, students work individually to complete close reading activities for second poem.
Image 1 - page 1, slide 11 PERFECT BALANCE

Image 2 - page 10, side 150 EIGHT LEGS

Image 3 - page 2, slide 18 CHEER UP

Image 4 - page 2, slide 17 DON'TS
Emily Dickinson Poetry: Extension Project


1. Working in teams of 2-4 students, find an Emily Dickinson poem online. It can't be one of the poems we read in class. You can find different collections of her poems attached below.
2. Write the poem down on a piece of paper.
3. After you write down the poem, identify the number of stanzas.
4. Identify the meter in each line by marking each syllable with unstressed and stressed marks.
5. Paraphrase each line of the poem in your own words to show your group analysis of the poem's meaning.
6. Present poem to class.

Use this format for your notes:

Group Names: List names in your group
Title of Poem: List title of poem
Poem: Write down the entire poem
Number of Stanzas: List total number of stanzas in poem
Meter: Mark each line in the poem above with unstressed and stressed marks
Paraphrase: Re-write each line in your own words

Use the class handout to help your group complete task. Turn into Mr. Sabath at the end of the period.
Socratic Seminar

1. Read poem to class

2. Read your paraphrase and give group's thoughts on poem

3. Ask one higher-ordering thinking question using Bloom's Taxonomy (see handout)
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