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Topic

Poetry Writing

Grades

9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subject

English Language Arts

Duration

90 minutes

Regional Focus

Global

Format

Google Docs, Google Slides

Deforestation Odes and Elegies

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Oct 3, 2022

Synopsis

In this lesson, students learn about deforestation and climate change and respond by writing an ode or an elegy.

 

Step 1 - Inquire: Students watch a video showing deforestation and pick one region to further research the effects of climate change.

 

Step 2 - Investigate: Students learn the differences between an ode and an elegy and write a poem to the lost forests.

 

Step 3 - Inspire: Students share their poems and investigate possible solutions to deforestation.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Inquire
25 minutes
  • Students respond to the following prompts using think-pair-share.

    • What do you know about deforestation?

    • Why does deforestation happen?

    • What industries or human activities drive deforestation?

    • Why is deforestation important in regards to climate change?

    • Why should we care?

  • Students watch Our Forests | Timelapse in Google Earth and take notes on their Student Document.

  • Teacher leads a class discussion.

    • How did you feel watching the video?

    • What was most surprising to you?

    • What stood out the most?

    • What communities do you think are most impacted by deforestation?

    • Why do you think the video focused on those particular regions?

    • Nothing was spoken in this video. What effect did that have on you?

    • Would the video feel different if the facts were narrated?

  • Students pick one of the regions in the video to research: Nuflo de Chavez, Bolivia, Enright, Oregon, USA; Atsimo-Andrefana, Madagascar; Sara, Bolivia; or Mato Grosso, Brazil.

    • Students jot down 5-7 pieces of information on their Student Document.

    • Students share one piece of information that stood out the most.

  • Students who need more background regarding the relationship between forests and climate change can watch this video about Forest Feedback Loops.
Investigate
35 minutes
  • Teacher explains the differences between an ode and an elegy.

    • An ode is a poem of praise or a tribute.

    • An elegy is a poem of lament or mourning.

  • Students write a poetic response to the video and the region they researched.

    • Students review the elements of odes and elegies on their Student Document.

      • Odes include two stanzas of ten lines each: one from an emotional perspective and one from an intellectual perspective.

      • Elegies include 3 stanzas of 6-7 lines. Each stanza represents a stage of grief: loss, admiration, and respect.

    • All poems for this assignment must include the following:

      • Apostrophe: Direct address of someone or something not present; addressing something non-human as if it were human.

      • At least 5 facts from student research about the forest.

      • Deliberate, thoughtful word choice.

      • Appropriate tone.

Inspire
30 minutes
  • Students get into groups of 3-4 and share their poems.

    • Students provide each other with feedback about their poems.

      • What did I like about this poem?

      • How does this poem achieve its purpose of tribute or lament?

      • What specific words or phrases stood out?

      • Which words or phrases could be replaced with stronger or more specific words and phrases?

    • Students listen to feedback about their poems and make edits.

    • Each group selects one poem to share with the class.

  • Each group shares with the class the poem they selected.

  • Teacher leads a whole class reflection.

    • Why did you pick to write an ode or elegy?

    • What was this writing process like for you?

    • What did you learn about climate change through this activity?

    • What does this lesson encourage you to do or not do?

    • What questions do you still have about your region?

  • Students partner with a classmate who researched the same deforested region.

    • Students research current efforts to combat deforestation in the region.

    • Students list 3 solutions to deforestation on their Student Document.

    • Students share with the class which solution they found most impactful and the reasoning behind their thinking.

  • Teacher leads a whole class reflection:

    • Why or how did you pick to write an ode or elegy?

    • What was this writing process like for you?

    • What did you learn about climate change through this activity?

    • What does this lesson encourage you to do or not do?

  • The class writes a collaborative poem.

    • Teacher announces, “As a class, we will write one final poem.”

    • Each student will speak one line. It can be a reflection on this lesson, something learned about deforestation, a call to action, or a feeling related to deforestation.

    • One student types what is spoken. No editing!

    • One student reads aloud the final class poem.

Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This lesson can be used as a standalone or as a lesson in a poetry unit.

  • Students are given voice and choice.

  • Students create their own poetic response to a real-world challenge.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have some basic understanding of poetry.

  • Students should have a basic understanding of deforestation and its connection to climate change.

Differentiation

  • This lesson is easily adaptable to Advanced Placement or honors level classes by including other literary and language elements in the poems such as juxtaposition, oxymoron, consonance, assonance, enjambment, alliteration, and personification.

  • Students can write each stanza in a different meter or rhyme. Examples include iambic pentameter or ABBA rhyme scheme.

  • Teachers can split the lesson in two and focus on an ode in the first lesson and an elegy in the second.

  • Students can write both an ode and an elegy and compare the differences in writing, tone, and overall effect.

  • Social studies, civics, and economics classes can extend this topic to social justice, socioeconomic class, and cultural impacts of deforestation within each specific region.

  • Student poems can be shared outside of the classroom in the school newspaper or a community newsletter, on a class or teacher website, on school display boards, or in extracurricular poetry or environmental clubs.

Scientist Notes

This lesson empowers students to understand what deforestation entails and how they can write poems to express their feelings of grief, respect, emotion, and valor in combating deforestation in their community. All materials used in the lesson have been verified and are suitable for teaching. In this light, this lesson is credible and recommended for the classroom.

Standards
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Language (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.9-10.3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.9-10.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.11-12.3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.11-12.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
    • Writing (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

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