Author:
Melody Casey
Subject:
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Level:
Upper Primary
Grade:
3
Tags:
IRPELA
License:
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
Language:
English

Education Standards

Emily Dickinson Uncovered: A Readaptation of "Autumn"

Emily Dickinson Uncovered: A Readaptation of "Autumn"

Overview

This activity for gifted learners might serve as a culminating activity as part of a larger poetry unit. Students will take part in close readings of a variety of poems throughout the unit. In this activity, gifted learners would work either individually or with a partner to close read “Autumn” by Emily Dickinson.  They will then work to decipher the poem and it’s meaning, resulting in an audio recording of the original poem and visual display to complement their knowledge/understanding of the poem. They will then create their own humorous adaptation of  “Autumn” by translating the poem into their own nonliteral language, slang, phrases with a newly “remastered” audio recording of the poem and visual display to complement their knowledge/understanding of the poem in their own words. This lesson was developed by NCDPI as part of the Academically and/or Intellectually Gifted Instructional Resources Project. This lesson plan has been vetted at the state level for standards alignment, AIG focus, and content accuracy.

Lesson Overview

Brief Description of Lesson/Task/Activity: This activity for gifted learners might serve as a culminating activity as part of a larger poetry unit. Students will take part in close readings of a variety of poems throughout the unit.  The whole-group reading of the poems should include independent reading, read aloud, literature circle groups, teacher conferences regarding comprehension, and other activities designed to engage all learners in high-level thinking about the poems.  Instruction regarding figurative/nonliteral language (similes, metaphors, personification) must be explicitly taught, as well, through the reading & analysis of various texts containing nonliteral language, modeling the process for creating figurative language, group work deciphering nonliteral language in context, and the creation of students’ own figurative language. In this activity, gifted learners would work either individually or with a partner to close read “Autumn” by Emily Dickinson.  They will then work to decipher the poem and it’s meaning, resulting in an audio recording of the original poem and visual display to complement their knowledge/understanding of the poem. They will then create their own humorous adaptation of  “Autumn” by translating the poem into their own nonliteral language, slang, phrases with a newly “remastered” audio recording of the poem and visual display to complement their knowledge/understanding of the poem in their own words. 

Time Frame: Five to six 45-minute class periods 

Type of Differentiation for AIGs: 

  • Enrichment
  • Extension
  • Acceleration

Adaptation for AIGs:

  • Content
  • Process
  • Product

Explanation of How Resource is Appropriate for AIGs: One way to increase a task’s complexity is to add an unexpected element to process or product.  The fact that students are expected to not only analyze the poem “Autumn” in a more serious, or traditional sense, but to then come up with a “silly” or humorous version of the poem that still represents the poem’s true meaning is unexpected and also requires them to perform at the highest levels of Bloom’s…evaluating and creating.  Through their analysis of “Autumn” and the creation of visual representations to complement both their serious and humorous recordings of the poem(s) the students will also have to synthesize many unrelated concepts/pictures/ideas to create their visual representation of the poems.  Finally, advanced students tend to appreciate humor and perceive subtlety and nuance more than their peers, and this activity not only fosters their sense of humor, but also helps them to fine tune their perception of the nuances of nonliteral language. 

Needed Resources/Materials: 

  • Copies of “Autumn” by Emily Dickinson
  • Internet Access
  • Audio recording equipment 
  • Video recording equipment 
  • Flash Drives

Sources: NCAGT workshop on “Using Humor to Foster Abstract Thought” by John Bugaiski, Kannapolis City Schools 

Teacher Notes: This activity is an effective and efficient way to challenge learners at higher levels of thinking and assess students’ comprehension of literal and nonliteral meaning. In addition to directly teaching figurative/nonliteral language, technological skills regarding audio and video recording, possible websites & computer programs or websites, such as Animoto, will need to be taught, as well. 

Stage 1: Engage

Day 1

  • Teacher introduces lesson by way of his/her own audio/visual presentation of an exemplar poem with which the students are already familiar, that contains nonliteral language
  • After viewing the presentation, students and teacher discuss:
    • The teacher’s reading of the poem…noting how the teacher spoke, the pace, how clearly the teacher spoke, the emphasis used, etc. Students may offer suggestions as to how they might interpret or read the poem differently, being sure to give reasons to support their choice. 
    • The teacher’s choice in visual pictures/illustrations to exemplify the poems meaning…asking questions as to why certain visuals were chosen & offering up suggestions for other visuals that might also work well with the poem.
  • The teacher then asks students how they might “remix” the same poem presentation in a humorous light…a comedic “re-write” of the poem that still allows the poems true meaning to come through, but does so in a humorous way, using nonliteral language, slang, sayings to get the point across.  
  • Students are given 15 minutes to work in pairs to create their own humorous remix of part (or all) of the poem.  
  • Students then watch the teacher’s humorous audio/visual presentation of the same exemplar poem.  ☺  
  • After viewing the presentation, students and teacher discuss:
    • The teacher’s reading of the poem…noting how the teacher spoke, the pace, voice, how clearly the teacher spoke, the emphasis used, etc.  Students may offer suggestions as to how they might interpret or read the poem differently, being sure to give reasons to support their choice, from their humorous remix brainstorm.    
    • The teacher’s choice in visual pictures/illustrations to exemplify the poems meaning…asking questions as to why certain visuals were chosen & offering up suggestions for other visuals that might also work well with the poem, from their humorous remix brainstorm.

Teacher will explain that over the next few days the students can work independently or with partners to create their own audio/visual presentations analyzing the poem “Autumn” by Emily Dickinson…interpreting the nonliteral language in both serious, and silly, ways that communicate the poem’s true meaning.

Stage 2: Elaborate

Day 2

  • Students will work to do a close reading of “Autumn” by Emily Dickinson…noting the form, phrasing, any repetition, the use of nonliteral language such as personification, metaphors, etc.  
  • Students will then discuss the poem and what they think it means, and why, while brainstorming visual representations that might work well with their “serious/traditional” interpretation of the poem. (Possible text-dependent guiding questions for the teacher are as follows: How many stanzas is the text? What word is repeated multiple times in each stanza? Why? What is the meaning of ____ (morn, meeker, gayer, trinket)? Are these words you hear (as they are used in this context) very often today?  How do these words add to the tone of the poem? What is happening to the elements of nature mentioned in the poem? What change is taking place?  How does the speaker’s need to “put a trinket on” relate to her feelings about this change? Explain.)
  • Students will also practice reading the poem aloud multiple times until they come up with a reading that best represents their interpretation of the poem.

Day 3

  • Using yesterday’s brainstorms, students will create the audio and visual components of their more traditional “Autumn” presentation. 

Day 4

  • Students will discuss the poem and what they think it means in a more humorous light today, while brainstorming visual representations that might work well with their “humorous” interpretation of the poem. 
  • Students will also practice reading the poem aloud multiple times in a humorous way until they come up with a reading that best represents their comedic interpretation of the poem.

Day 5

  • Using yesterday’s brainstorms, students will create the audio and visual components of their humorous “Autumn” presentation.

Stage 3: Evaluate

The students’ audio/visual presentations should be evaluated based on the following criteria using either a rubric or a checklist.  Students can also complete a self-evaluation of their work using the same criteria.  

  • Students were able to accurately analyze the nonliteral language used by Dickinson in “Autumn.”
  • The audio portions of the presentations are fluid; students speak clearly, with feeling, and at an understandable pace.   
  • The visual portions of the presentations emphasize and enhance the students’ interpretation of the poem.
  • The students’ comedic re-write of “Autumn” still reflects their initial interpretation of the poem, just in a funny way.    
  • The presentation has a title and the mechanics (punctuation, capitalization, etc.) are clean.
  • Piece shows creativity and effort/student's best work.