In this activity students will write a poem that synthesizes information that they have read. Each stanza of the poem represents a different view of a character or an event. The purpose of this activity is to explore multiple viewpoints and synthesize those views.
- Read a fiction or non-fiction text. The activity works best with texts that include multiple viewpoints.
- Create a model graphic organizer that includes three sections (viewpoint, textual evidence, higher-level thinking).
- Create a model poem to share with students based on your sample graphic organizer.
- Create a student guide for giving and receiving feedback.
- Create a rubric for the final poem
- Introduce 13 Views.
This activity is named after Wallace Stevens’s poem “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.” The purposeof the activity is to analyze characters or events from multiple viewpoints. Tell students that they are going to write a poem that synthesizes the multiple viewpoints of a character or an event from the text. This activity has two parts. First, students will create a graphic organizer as a pre-writing tool, then students will use that graphic organizer to write a poem that synthesizes that information.
- Model a graphic organizer and a poem.
Model a graphic organizer for students for organizing their thoughts and then share a sample poem. Review the structure of a poem if necessary. Distribute and review the elements of the rubric.
- Complete graphic organizer.
Select one character or event from the text that has multiple viewpoints. Create a three-column chart. In column one write the viewpoint. In column two describe evidence from the text to support that viewpoint. In the third column write your own analysis, evaluation, or reflection on that viewpoint.
- Conduct a mini-lesson on synthesis.
Model for students how to use their graphic organizer to synthesize information. The key focus here is to think aloud about how you not only summarizethe viewpoint but also include your own analysis, evaluation, or reflection.
- Draft the poem.
Students will use their pre-writing graphic organizer as a tool to help them write their poems. The length of the poems will be based on the amount of information available to students in the text. It should range somewhere from five to ten stanzas.
- Obtain peer feedback.
Students will share their poems with each other, and give and receive feedback. Distribute the guidelines for giving and receiving feedback and the rubric.
- Students write final copy of their poems.
Studentswill incorporate peer feedback to finalize their poems. When the poems are completed, students will self-assess using the rubric.
- Share poems.
Student share-out could include a poetry reading, a gallery walk, or an online posting.
Sample reflection questions include: · How did writing this poem help you better understand the text? · What insights do you have into the character or events of the text? · When synthesizing did you use analysis, evaluation, or reflection most often? Why?