What Is Poetry and Where Can You Find It?

Grades: 
6, 7, 8

Students will understand that you find poetry everywhere: lyrics to songs, commercials and rap. They will also realize that philanthropic themes are often found in poetry.

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
PrintOne Fifty-Five Minute Class Period
Objectives 

The learners will:

  • define “poetry.”
  • identify elements of poetry in musical lyrics, printed materials, commercials and rap songs.
  • define “philanthropy” and find examples of philanthropic themes in poetry.
Materials 
  • Adam Sandler's “Lunch Lady Land” from YouTube
  • Overhead projector
  • Where Do We Find Poetry? (Handout One)
Bibliography 

Sandler, Adam. They’re All Gonna Laugh at You. Warner Bros., September 28, 1993. Compact Disk ASIN: 000002MMG

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set:On the overhead or chalkboard write the question: “What is poetry and where do you find it?” Allow about five minutes for students to think about this and respond in writing. While students are writing, you may choose to play “Lunch Lady Land” by Adam Sandler. (Teacher’s Note: Preview this YouTube song and video to be sure it is appropriate for your students.)

  2. Discuss the students’ definition of poetry and ask them to name different places where they would find poetry. Tell students that the poet Marianne Moore defines poetry as “imaginary gardens with real toads in them.” Discuss what this means. Poetry is painting pictures and creating sounds with words.

    • Distribute to students Where Do We Find Poetry? (Handout One). Discuss this and then have students get with a partner and list names or words from lyrics and poems that they can recall. Allow about ten minutes for them to work together and share their lists with the rest of the class.
    • Give the students the definition of philanthropy (giving of one’s time, treasure or talent for the common good) and tell them that this is a common theme found in poetry. Put the following Emily Dickinson poem on the overhead or chalkboard.

      If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain; If I can ease one life the aching, or cool one pain, Or help one fainting robin unto his nest again, I shall not live in vain.

  3. Ask students how this relates to philanthropy.

  4. For homework have the learners find an example of a song lyric or a poem that deals with love, giving and the common good, or students may choose to write an original poem on this theme.

Assessment 

The homework assignment may serve as the assessment.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Define philanthropy as individuals and organizations providing their time, talent, and/or treasures intended for the common good throughout history and around the world. Give examples.