1. Students should enter the classroom with a circular seating
arrangement where every student can be seen. The teacher
can have a seat with the students, or remain in the
middle of the circle.
2. Pass out copies of each poem to students.
3. Have students read the titles to themselves without
reading any of the actual poems. Clarify the meaning
of any words that
may be confusing, such as ‘mockers’.
4. Ask students what their initial responses to the
titles are. What do you think these poems are
about? What might
be the connecting idea? Put responses up on the board.
5. Read each poem with the class. Have students volunteer
to read to the class. The reading of the poems should
6. Conduct a class discussion focused solely on initial
responses to the poems. The discussion should allow
the students to
share their perceptions on images that stick out,
lines that have
a strong impact, and the feelings the poems leave
the reader with. This should be a free flowing
the topic to change as ideas are shared. However,
the teacher needs
to ask questions that direct the students to basic
comprehension of the poems. For example, who is the
speaker of the
poem? What happens in this poem? Time should also
be made to
make connections to modern day workers.
7. The discussion should last one class period. Collect
copies back from students.
8. When the students return the next day, the seating
arrangement should return to the norm.
9. Pass copies back to students. In addition
to the poems, a list of questions should also
10. Students will respond to the questions
individually. The questions should be derived
from the previous
In addition, questions should allow students to display their
comprehension of the poems.
1. Discuss answers with students. Allow students to add ideas to their answers
based on what is said during the discussion.
2. Students should keep the copy of the questions and their responses.