Practices in Pedagogy

"To Teach is to Learn Twice Over"

A Possible Lesson For 9th Grade Language Arts

EDRD- Lesson #1 (Unpacking Riddle Poetry)

The link above is a possible lesson plan (completed on the SPU Template) for a 9th grade Language Arts class. The lesson is entitled “Unpacking Emily Dickinson’s Riddle Poetry,” and focuses on accomplishing two main objectives:

1. The student understands and uses different skills and strategies to read (WA State EALR Reading #1)

2. The student understands the meaning of what is read (WA State EALR Reading #2)

By aligning the seemingly opposing processes of explicating poetry and solving riddles, a teacher might be able to provide an informative, engaging opportunity for students to learn how to read closely AND understand what they are reading! Critically reading and interpreting poetry is usually least on a student’s list of favorite tasks to do (especially high school freshmen). Therefore, this lesson offers even the most apathetic students to find joy and success in unpacking difficult poetry.

Presumably, this particular lesson would fit into a greater poetry Unit. Because the lesson expects students to already have some understanding of poetry as a distinct genre, a basic set of skills to analyze poems, interpretative reading strategies, and possibly some contextual knowledge on Emily Dickinson and some other famous American poets, this specific lesson should fit in at the later stages of the Poetry Unit– possibly even near the final week.

Finally, the link below possesses a supplementary tool for the teacher hoping to complete this lesson:

PP Presentation (Unpacking Poetry)


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2 thoughts on “A Possible Lesson For 9th Grade Language Arts

  1. Kris Gritter on said:


    I think you have thought a good deal about this lesson. Here’s my advice to improve your teaching.

    Find out the information to answer 1.7, 1.8, and include a chart for 1.9. This will help you a good deal in your internship and in your TPA — proving you are teaching to the existing abilities of your students.

    For 2.2 — what are you doing to ensure students are reading poetry at night?

    3.5 What interpretive characteristics are you talking about? Be specific.

    3.7 Be specific about the skills and strategies you are talking about — you can refer to our reading text and the strategies of good readers.

  2. Kristine Gritter on said:

    This is a solid lesson with evidence of learning about students and teaching throughout. 1.7, 1.8, and 1.9 should be filled out because the more you know about students, the more you can justify your pedagogical decision making. 3.10 still needs more elaboration. I would like examples of how you break down literacy tasks for students.

    I like this lesson because one of the biggest literacy skills that adolescents need to learn is how to re-read text closely for new information. Poetry is a good match for fluency and comprehension building. If students like to shine, they could also read poetry aloud, perhaps posting their renderings on youtube or some such public format.

    I would also like you to think about a family involvement plan in the teaching of this unit. Perhaps family can be involved as students write poems about their lived experiences. Perhaps members of families can be the punchline of riddles.

    Nice job with this. I believe you will be a fine English teacher.

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