Some Surprising Lesson Plans

14 06 2017


Interested in focusing more on teaching surprise in poetry? If so, check out Michelle Chan Brown’s “Make It New: Using Surprise To Make Poetry Come Alive.”

Readers of this blog will find lesson 3, “Shifts & Turns: The Poet as Trickster,” to be of particular interest. Those intrigued by the turns in Shakespeare’s sonnet 130 (“My mistress’s eyes…”) should check out more about the power of the sonnet’s volta. Some discussions can be found here, and here, and here. If you’re interested in a lesson plan focused on the powerful potential of the dynamics between a “you” and an “I” in a poem, check out my essay “If They Can Do It, You Can, Too: The Dialectical Argument Poem” in Wingbeats II: Exercises and Practice in Poetry. (This lesson plan can help students create something like these poems.)

Also of particular interest is lesson 4, “Wonder: The Poet Surprises Herself,” which focuses on a kind of turn we here have come to call, after Rachel Zucker’s naming it as such, an “epiphanic poem.”




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