Unit 8, Poetry, focuses on examining poetry. It is important for students to study poetry as a genre of literature for many reasons. As a form of expression, poetry allows authors and readers to think about topics in creative and unusual ways, stimulating critical thought without the pressure of a right or correct interpretation. The poems in this unit are grouped and taught by poetic form, such as ode, lyrical, didactic, and historical poetry. This allows students to develop an understanding of the different forms poetry can take as well as the techniques used within those forms. In terms of literary skills, students will focus on sound, structure, meaning, tone, conflict, diction, figurative language, and the speaker’s viewpoint.
Not only does this unit allow students to study literary techniques unique to poetry, but it exposes students to philosophical ideas and emotional issues not always present in prose. Poetry, perhaps more than any other genre, invites students to play with the power of language as a form of expression, highlighting the connections between form and meaning.
In this unit, students will be exposed to content-area vocabulary and words derived from Greek and Latin roots and affixes. In addition, students will learn to analyze language, meaning, and structure in poetry. They will learn about intensive pronouns and their proper uses. Students will learn to clarify the differences between intensive and reflexive pronouns. They will also learn to use frequently confused words, such as good/well and like/as, correctly.
Students will read a selection of poems from Realms of Gold, Volume 1, which is available for purchase from the Core Knowledge Foundation. This publication includes specific poems recommended for students in this grade level in the Core Knowledge Sequence. Each student should have their own copy of this volume of poetry.