Tagorelearningactivities by 5R42zo5


									Learning resources that reflect the broad range of students’ interests, backgrounds,
cultures and experiences are an important aspect of an inclusive language program …
[teachers must] routinely use materials that reflect the diversity of Canadian and
world cultures …

                                           The Ontario Curriculum: Language

Tagore’s lifelong interest in social justice, the environment, and schools make his
writing an ideal way to infuse the diversity referred to in the Curriculum, into the
classroom language programme.

It is expected that students in all grades will become familiar with a variety of
genres and text forms. Included in this curriculum package, are examples of
Tagore’s poetry and short stories. The poems are drawn from his writing for
children (more suitable for primary students) as well as from Gitanjali, the
collection for which he won the Nobel Prize for Literature (more suitable for junior
grades). Both the poems and the stories provide excellent Mentor texts for the
students’ writing. Tagore’s body of work offers students multiple entry points into
critical literacy.

Helen Wolfe, FOS LC, SW4

We all need someone to point out that the emperor is wearing no clothes. That’s the
poet’s job.
                                           Arnold Adoff

As Adoff suggests, poetry can offer an inroad into deeper thinking about issues
which confront contemporary society. Because it demands repeated reading, and
reading aloud, poetry is also an ideal text form to familiarize students with the
deeper structures of language.

Mentor poems should be recorded and read repeatedly in groups, in pairs, and
possibly by individuals. As with any new text form, the teacher should follow the
Gradual Release of Responsibility Model of instruction (i.e., modeling for the whole
class; shared reading and writing; guiding small groups, and eventually independent
work by students).

Students should also be reflective of what aspects of a mentor poem they can use to
help them create their own poetry. When the students have read and analyzed the
mentor poems, and created their own poetry, the poems should be read or recited to
an audience; this could be as simple as reading to a reading buddy or the other end
of the continuum the more formal creation of a poetry café to which parents and
other classes are invited.

Analyzing the Features of Poetry:
As you read and reread the poems, children should begin to notice the text features of
each piece.

      language in unique patterns
           o rhyme - this is particularly found in poetry for young children
           o repetition - which gives emphasis to certain words and phrases
           o stanzas
      musical language
           o onomatopoeia
           o alliteration
           o assonance, consonance, and dissonance
      line breaks – which give emphasis to words or phrases, and draw attention to
       the rhythm of the piece
      figurative language
           o similes
           o metaphors
           o personification
      symbolism
      words which create pictures in the minds of the reader

Helen Wolfe, FOS LC, SW4
Suggested Learning Activities

      read the poem using different voices, (e.g., shout/whisper, high/low pitch,
       sad/happy voices, voices of different characters) … beginning with echo
       reading and proceeding to shared reading of the pieces
      create new poems using the patterns found in the poem
      have students create poetry logs to record mentor poems, as well as
       significant words and phrases which they use to help them create their own
      create a class list of features of poetry
      create class lists of strong adjectives, nouns, verbs which can be used in
       student writing
      create choral readings of the poems studied

Interpreting Poetry:
As you read and reread the poems, children should look for the ways in which the poet
has used the text features to help the reader understand the purpose (to educate or
entertain) and the intended message (i.e., the theme or the lesson) of the piece.

Among the comprehension strategies that are particularly appropriate for poetry

     activating prior knowledge (what do students already know about the topic
       and text form?)
     analyzing text features
     visualizing (turning the text into a ‘mental’ movie)
     inferring (figuring out the intended message; the mood of the piece; the ‘plot’
       in a narrative poem)
     questioning the ‘narrator’ and interrogating the intended message (would
       everyone agree with it? have some voices been left out?)
     determining importance

Suggested Learning Activities:

      have students create a Readers’ Theatre (monologues, dialogues, and small
       groups ‘plays’) using part or all of the poem
      have students create soundscapes (i.e., create sound effects or music to go
       along with the reading of the poem) using a tape recorder, Audacity, or
       Garage Band … this is a particularly good activity to accompany the analysis
       of the mood of a poem
      create movements to go along with a poem
      illustrate the poem, a part of the poem, or strong words or phrases from the
      make a poster of the poem or part of the poem, using appropriate colour,
       fonts, and illustration

Helen Wolfe, FOS LC, SW4
      ‘translate’ the poem into another text form (e.g., change the poem into a
       letter, or a narrative, a newspaper article)
      after determining the ‘narrator’ of the poem, go into role as the narrator (or
       have a student go into role) and have other students interview him/her
       about the ideas in the poem (hot seating)
      role play interviews of characters in a story poem to flesh out the back story
      create tableau of the theme of the poem, or the ‘plot’ of a story poem
      rewrite the poem from a different point of view
      using a graphic organizer (Venn diagram, t chart) compare two poems …
       compare setting, characters, theme, word choice

Helen Wolfe, FOS LC, SW4
Analyzing the Features of Narrative:
As you read and reread the short stories students should begin to notice the features of

      plot
      characters
      setting
      beginning, middle, and end
      problem
      resolution
      satisfying ending

Suggested Learning Activities:
Many of the same learning activities are appropriate for teaching narrative. These
have been repeated along with a few additional activities.
    create a Readers’ Theatre
    illustrate the plot (e.g., with a story board)
    make a poster to promote the story
    translate the story into another text form
    role play interviews of characters in the story to explore characters’ views on
       the important issues addressed by the story
    role play interviews of characters’ friends, family, members of the
       community who might be involved in any of the problems or issues raised by
       the characters
    create tableau of the theme or plot of the story
    hold a town hall meeting (in role) to address any social justice issue raised
       by the story
    rewrite the story from a different character’s point of view
    use a graphic organizer to compare characters in the story with one another,
       or with characters in other stories
    use a graphic organizer to compare two pieces by the same author
    record questions for the author, or characters (remember to teach students
       the difference between thick and thin questions, i.e., questions that elicit
       higher level thinking rather than factual answers)
    choose 10 words that will help you remember the whole story … one will
       become the title and the rest will be used to create a summary

Useful websites:


This website offers detailed lessons as well as short descriptions of ‘theory to
practice’; among others, there are lessons to teach different genres and text forms,
the comprehension strategies referred to above, including ‘thick and thin’ questions.

Helen Wolfe, FOS LC, SW4
Helen Wolfe, FOS LC, SW4

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