I designed a little lesson to teach in my students' English class. I had them compare and contrast two poems, one of which is a personal favorite of mine... Twelve Songs: IX, better known as Stop All the Clocks, by W. H. Auden. It's straight forward with very few opportunities for confusion; it's raw and almost adolescent in it's declaration of pain. My goals were to get the kids to use Venn diagrams to compare and contrast that poem and Christina Rossetti's Remember and improve their fluency through repetition. At the end, I had them write what they thought my goals were for the lesson that day and I was quite surprised at how profound some of them could be. One wrote "You wanted us to understand heartache and loss." Another: "You want us to appreciate life and not waste a second of it". At first I was disappointed that some of them hadn't said anything about Venn diagrams or comparing and contrasting, but then I smiled. They had come away with something. It was a good lesson.
Funny. I didn't think I would, but I'm still able to recite Auden's poem completely by heart.