During Reading Strategy: Haiku/Limerick Collection

During Reading Strategy: Haiku/Limerick Collection

Source: 103 Things to Do Before/During/After Reading from The English Teacher’s Handbook by Jim Burke

Link:  http://www.englishcompanion.com/assignments/reading/103readingactivities.htm

Haiku/Limerick Collection: Choose one character in the work to follow. Write a haiku or limerick that is related to that character for each chapter/section/important event. (The original directions just say “create one about a character,” but I wanted to take it a bit further to make it more like a character study. I think it’d be a more interesting and creative way for students to interact with a text as opposed to just writing an analytical essay. This would fit best with a longer novel with clearly defined chapters or sections because it makes it easy to designate how many poems are required. If a chapter/section is longer than others or includes multiple events that are important for the character they have chosen more poems would be required.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.2d Use precise language, domain-specific vocabulary, and techniques such as metaphor, simile, and analogy to manage the complexity of the topic.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

I think this approach will work in a variety of ways for a variety of things. I think students will have to think critically about the characters and what’s happening to them in order to represent that creatively through poetry. Students will also gain a better understanding of “domain-specific techniques such as metaphor, simile, and analogy” when they are using these conventions themselves to convey an idea or feeling. Along with the critical analysis they’ll be doing, they will gain valuable writing experience. Since haikus and limericks are very short, structured poems, students will have to think carefully about their choice of vocabulary, which is also in line with CCSS.


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