Learning Activity 7
We will be using Readers Theatre as a way of studying poetry. Each of you will be part of a Poetry Group that has to create a presentation/performance of some poems. Each of the poems you choose has to be on the same topic, but has to have different points of view on the topic. For example, if you choose winter as your topic, in one of your poems the poet may like winter, while in another one, the poet dislikes winter. You have to combine two things in your presentation:
- An expressive, dramatic reading of the poem
- Discussion about the poet’s point of view on the topic in the poem
Here are the guidelines:
- After electing a director, each group will find five poems which vary in style and content about the same topic. Try to find different kinds of poems like an old poem, a new poem, a funny or amusing poem, a serious poem, a highly structured poem, a more free-form poem, a descriptive poem, a narrative poem, etc.
- The group will write a script for its presentation (beginning to end) which includes:
- An introduction to explain or describe your topic (example winter)
- An introduction for each poem
- Brief interpretations of each poem
- A closing statement
- Each group member will do an expressive or dramatic reading of one poem. The reader should speak with clarity, good projection, emotion and a sense of purpose. Try to interpret the poem through your reading by varying your tone and volume, and by using body language and facial expressions. Rehearse for clear and smooth delivery!
- Introduce each poem by including the title, poet, when it was published and any other relevant information. The presentation should move smoothly from one poem to the next. Rehearse the entire presentation.
- Help your audience to focus their listening by mentioning some important features of the poem before you read it. For example:
“As I read the next poem by Robert Frost, called Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening, listen to the repetition of the final line as a way to emphasize the speaker’s tiredness.”
- Your presentations should be about 20 - 25 minutes.
Suggestions for topics:
Beauty, Truth, Justice, Oppression, Family, Friendship, Seasons or Holidays, Future, Community Life, Nature, Romance, Broken Hearts, Music, Anger, Hope and Faith, Sports, Childhood, Old Age, Growing Up, Innocence, Death, Birth, Heroism, Courage, Fear, School Days, Memories, Loneliness and Solitude, Food, Parents , Fate and Destiny, Travel, Greed and Materialism, Animals, Weather, The Land
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