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Lesson Plan

Speaking Poetry: Exploring Sonic Patterns Through Performance

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Speaking Poetry: Exploring Sonic Patterns Through Performance

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Three 50-minute sessions (plus time for students to memorize and prepare their recitations)
Lesson Author

Eileen Murphy Buckley

Eileen Murphy Buckley

Chicago, Illinois


National Council of Teachers of English


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives





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ReadWriteThink Notetaker

Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

ReadWriteThink Notetaker

Useful for a wide variety of reading and writing activities, this outlining tool allows students to organize up to five levels of information.


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  1. This activity assumes that students have already completed close reading activities focusing on sound and sense as they relate to the relationship between the speaker and his father in "Those Winter Sundays."   Use or adapt the activities from Sessions One through Four of Sonic Patterns: Exploring Poetic Techniques Through Close Reading to give students the necessary foundation.

  2. Prepare copies of necessary handouts and overhead transparencies of the poem and the Literary Terms Quick Reference.

  3. Review the Close Reading Notes for "Those Winter Sundays."

  4. Practice reading the poem aloud until you are sensitive to the sonic patterns and are able to present a fluid reading to the class, emphasizing the repeated sounds. This should not be a recitation, as students may take your performance as authoritative. It should simply be a good, fluent reading.

  5. Test the Audio Example of Playing the Sounds in the Word "Those" on your computers.

  6. Review the Script for Playing the Sounds in the Word "Those" and accompanying audio file.

  7. If performance is new to you or to your students, completing the performance exercises yourself prior to introducing them to your students will help you get a sense of the process and its rewards.

  8. Test the ReadWriteThink Notetaker tool on your computers. Ensure that you have the proper Flash plug-in installed. You can download the plug-in from the technical support page.

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