Lesson Plans For Teachers

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LESSON 2

 

‘Sonnet 43’-Elizabeth Barrett-Browning Poem 4/14

Learning Objectives Having explored the thematic content of the poem in the previous lesson, students will explore the effects of language used by the poet and attempt to develop their analysis skills when writing about a literary text.
 

Starter Activity

Read over all the poems studied so far. Sonnet 43 to be read by a volunteer-the first line could be echoed by the class. 

10 minute discussion about the language effects in the poem, some of which will have been discussed in the previous lesson.

Students should return to their desks and consider the statements below expanding upon them with their own words.

 

Resources

Copy of the poem from previous session.

Red-books

Anthology

Glue

 

Main Teaching And Learning Activities

 

Students will be primarily concerned with the effects of language as employed by the poet. The idea is to get them writing complex analytical sentences, which will help them to write an essay later on.

1) The speaker begins by posing a question that the entire sonnet will go on to answer: “How do I love thee?” Rather than using ‘why’ or perhaps even ‘when’, the ‘how’ is employed which achieves the effect of …………………  Since the poem provides an answer to the question, is not a rhetorical one and the reader feels……….

2) In lines three and four, the poet uses assonance, repeating long “e” vowel sounds in words like “reach,” “feeling,” “Being,” and “ideal.” This repeated long vowel sound adds ….

3) There’s also an internal rhyme between the word “feeling” in the middle of line three and the word “Being” in the middle of line four. This extra rhyme, along with the rhymes at the ends of the lines, creates the effect  of…

4) Lines 5-6 are some of the only lines in this poem that actually use concrete imagery – “sun and candle-light” . The poet uses different kinds of light to express her……. It is effective because…..

5) Lines 7-9 use anaphora, beginning with the same phrase, “I love thee,” as do lines two, five, and eleven. The effect of this parallel structure emphasizes that the poem is…..

6) One of the first things we notice about the sound of this poem is that it’s repetitive; instead of using synonyms for love. ‘Love’ is used nine times because…

Key Strategies (IGCSE) 

AO2: Understand the meanings of literary texts and their contexts, and explore texts beyond surface

meanings to show deeper awareness of ideas and attitudes;

AO3: Recognise and appreciate ways in which writers use language, structure, and form to create and shape meanings and effects;

AO4: Communicate a sensitive and informed personal response to literary texts.

Key Questions What are the language devices employed by the poet and why are they effective?  

Evaluation

 

 

Plenary

Some biographical details on Elizabeth Barrett-Browning. Stick the poem in the anthology. Close with the reading of the poem.
 

Homework

 

Find any two quotations on love and discuss why you find the words appealing.


LESSON

 

‘Sonnet 43’-Elizabeth Barrett-Browning Poem 4/14

Learning Objectives To continue developing an appreciation for poetry and the views expressed by poets. To recognize that poems do raise universal questions which are worthwhile contemplating. 

 

Starter Activity

 

1)    Read over ‘Time’, ‘The Flower-fed Buffaloes’ and ‘Report To Wordsworth’ as a class, reinforcing the importance of poetry as a spoken art-form and its close relationship to music (relevance-‘the sonnet’)

2) Remind students that the poems explored thus far deal with the themes of time and nature. Introduce the theme of love and relationships with ‘heart quotations’, each student reads one aloud, and a general conversation about what love is, and why they think people write and sing about it. (10 mins)

 

Resources

‘Songs of Ourselves’ Anthology

Heart quotations

Additional copies of the poem for annotation.

‘Guess How Much I Love You’-storybook.

Highlighters/pencils

 

Main Teaching And Learning Activities

1) Introduce the sonnet-using a copy without the poet’s name on it for annotation. No need to state iambic pentameter, only that it has 14 lines, and is the most famous sonnet in the English language after Shakespeare’s ‘Shall I compare thee…’ 

2) Students read the poem to themselves silently, teacher reads the poem aloud, twice perhaps.

3) Ask pertinent general questions about the poem and purpose.

4) Line by line analysis for meaning-leave specific language questions for second lesson.

5) Read ‘Guess How Much I Love You’-make some comparisons.

Key Strategies (IGCSE) 

AO2: Understand the meanings of literary texts and their contexts, and explore texts beyond surface

meanings to show deeper awareness of ideas and attitudes;

AO3: Recognise and appreciate ways in which writers use language, structure, and form to create and shape meanings and effects;

AO4: Communicate a sensitive and informed personal response to literary texts.

 

Key Questions

  • What is ‘love’? Are there different kinds of love?
  • Why do you think so many writers write about love?
  • Sonnet 43 is one of the most famous poems in the English Language-why do you think this is so?
 

Evaluation

 

 

Plenary

Lesson ends with Guess How Much I Love You to bring the poem back to its meaning and purpose after analysing the poem line-by-line. The following lesson draws upon the language devices employed and students commenting upon their effect in sentences. Re-read the poem for closure.
 

Homework

 

Journal:

Why do you think “How do I love thee?” is such a popular love poem? (120 words)

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