Teach This Poem: "A Jelly-Fish" by Marianne Moore
Produced for K-12 educators, Teach This Poem features one poem a week from our online poetry collection, accompanied by interdisciplinary resources and activities designed to help teachers quickly and easily bring poetry into the classroom. The series is written by our Educator in Residence, Dr. Madeleine Fuchs Holzer, and is available for free via email.
- Show your students two to three minutes of the “Relaxing Jellyfish Loop” video twice. The first time, have them watch and listen. The second time, ask them to write down what they hear and see.
- Ask them to turn and talk with a partner about what they learned about jellyfish from the video. How do they feel about jellyfish after watching the video?
- Project the poem “A Jelly-Fish” by Marianne Moore in the front of the class.
- Ask your students to read it silently and write down the words, phrases, and images that jump out at them. How are the words positioned on the page?
- Ask two students to read the poem aloud, one after the other. Make sure your students add what they noticed from the oral reading to their notes from their silent reading.
- Whole-class discussion: Why does Marianne Moore place her words where she does? Where are the rhymes? What does having one or two words on a line do to their meaning? What is Moore saying about the jellyfish? About what does she make you think?
- For some scientific information on jellyfish see KQED Quest “Amazing Jellies.”