Activity I: Reading and Listening Multiple Ways
Objective: Students will use careful noticing skills to identify important parts of a poem, while listening and reading.
- Hand out copies of “Diving into the Wreck” by Adrienne Rich.
- Ask your students to read the poem once, silently, to themselves.
- Have the poem read out loud twice, each time by a different student. You can also listen to the audio version of Adrienne Rich reading the poem herself by going to the poem page and clicking the audio icon.
- Ask your students to read the poem silently, again. This time, ask them to write down what “jumps out at them” in the poem, including words they don’t know.
Activity II: Small Group Discussion
Objective: Students will communicate their own ideas and perceptions in a small group.
- Assign your students to groups of no more than four or five.
- Have them discuss the following questions:
- What jumped out at you in the poem?
- What connections do you make to from your own experience (what you’ve done, what you’ve read, what you’ve seen) to the poem?
- What questions do you have?
Activity III: Vocabulary
Objective: Students will learn vocabulary from cues in content and from making connections.
- Ask your students for the list of vocabulary words in the poem they do not know. Conduct a full class discussion of the meaning of these words, based on prior small group discussions.
- Here are some words you might want to include in a vocabulary lesson if your students are not forthcoming with words they do not understand.
Activity IV: Whole Group Discussions
Objective: Students will form an interpretation of a poem while citing evidence in support of their interpretations.
There are multiple topics you can include in whole class discussions of “Diving into the Wreck.” Choose the one(s) that fit most closely with your curriculum—or create your own!
- Ask your students what jumped out at them in the poem. From their answer you can frame a discussion of poetic techniques such as line breaks, internal rhyme, stanzas, and metaphor. (For reference, see "Poetry Glossary," as well as Edward Hirsch’s terms line and stanza, as well as other poetic terms, from his book A Poet's Glossary.
- List your students’ questions on the board and conduct a discussion around possible answers.
- Based on the students’ connections, answers to their questions, and what jumped out at them, what do they think the poem is about? Ask them to cite evidence from the poem to back up their interpretations.
Note: They all should have information to help them participate in these discussions, because of the preceding activities.