Teach This Poem: "Ode to My Socks" by Pablo Neruda
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.
Resource: Have your students bring in a piece of clothing that they love and about which they want to write.
- Tell your students that they are going to read a poem by Pablo Neruda in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Ask them, as a way of preparing to read this poem, to think of a piece of clothing from home that they love and can easily bring to school. (You might have to remind older students that this piece of clothing needs to be appropriate.) This piece of clothing should also be something they are willing to share with their peers.
- When your students have brought in their special piece of clothing, ask them to write a short list (or paragraph) that describes in detail how the clothing looks. Then ask them to add what they love about it and why.
- Project the poem “Ode to My Socks” by Pablo Neruda in front of the class. Ask your students to read it closely and to write down all the words and phrases that jump out at them.
- Ask one student in the class to read the poem aloud. Ask the listening students to jot down the new words and phrases they notice when they hear the poem read. Repeat this process with another student reading the poem aloud.
- After your students have compiled their lists, ask them to turn to a partner and share what they noticed. Ask them to discuss what Neruda does to make us love his socks as much as he does, using their compilations to assist them.
- Have a whole-class discussion, based on the concept of an ode. Why do your students think Neruda wrote odes to common things, such as socks?
- Ask your students to write an ode (or paragraph) praising the piece of clothing they have brought from home.