Sunday, April 19, 2009

Missing the Desert

Time for a Poetry Break!
POETRY CHOICE: POETRY BY CHILDREN—Post a Poetry BREAK with a poem of your choice written by a child OR a Poetry BOOK REVIEW on a poetry book of poems written by children of your choice.

Ramon, Angel. 1999. “Things I would miss about the desert.” When the rain sings: Poems by young native Americans. Lee Francis, ed. National Museum of the American Indian. Smithsonian Institution. 43.

Poetry Break: Use this poem as an introduction for a science or social studies lesson. When the students study biomes, this poem would introduce deserts. When the students study the American Indian, this poem could be an introduction since it was written by a young Native American.

First give the students an Anticipation Guide (AG). The statements on the AG should reflect the poem, whether using it as a science or social studies lesson. This AG should contain only a couple of True/False statements. A more lengthy AG would be used when the lesson and textbook reading begins.


_____ True _____ False There are a variety of birds and animals that live in the desert.
_____ True _____ False Animals and birds survive well in the desert.

Social Studies

_____ True _____ False American Indians lived in the desert.
_____ True _____ False American Indians survived well in the desert.
_____ True _____ False Reservations are located in the desert.

Information about Anticipation Guides:

Purpose for Using Anticipation Guides
Anticipation guides serve two primary purposes:
· Elicit students’ prior knowledge of the topic of the text.
· Set a purpose for reading. (Students read to gather evidence that will either confirm their initial beliefs or cause them to rethink those beliefs.)

How to Use Anticipation Guides

1. Choose a text. (This strategy works well with most expository texts. It works particularly well with texts that present ideas that are somewhat controversial to the readers.)

2. Write several statements that focus on the topic of the text. Next to each statement, provide a place for students to indicate whether they agree or disagree with the statements.
Tips for writing statements:
· Write statements that focus on the information in the text that you want your students to think about.
· Write statements that students can react to without having read the text.
· Write statements for which information can be identified in the text that supports and/or opposes each statement.
· Write statements that challenge students’ beliefs (Duffelmeyer, 1994).
· Write statements that are general rather than specific (Duffelmeyer, 1994).

The focus for critical thinking in the poem is for science and the fact that all the animals mentioned are found in the desert. For social studies, it is a question of whether Native Americans lived in the desert. The appeal of the poem for students is its emotion and the fact that is was written by an eighth grade girl from the Tohono O’odham tribe.

After the students complete the anticipation guide, show the poetry book, When the Rain Sings: Poems by Young Native Americans. Tell the students the poems were written by young people from different American Indian tribes. Read the poem once. Discuss the students’ ideas on the AG. Explain to the students that the young person was writing her poem from personal experience.

Things I Would Miss About the Desert

The good things that I would miss
are the birds,
the owls, the hawks,
the eagles, the wolves, the cactus,
the chollas
the desert tortoise, the cool breeze,
the desert storms
when the ground is all wet.
I like to hear the coyotes at night
or to go out and sit in the desert
when these is a full moon.

by Angel Ramon (Tohono O’odham)

Extension: Follow with a required textbook lesson in science or social studies using an Anticipation Guide.

Science: Have students work in pairs to research deserts and develop a PowerPoint presentation about their findings.

Social Studies: Have students work in pairs to research several Native American tribes. Next, instruct them to choose one of the tribes and design a Native American dress or costume in any fashion they choose: sewing with cloth, drawing, painting, using various kinds of paper, etc.
Ramon, Angel. 1999. “Things I would miss about the desert”. When the rain sings: Poems by young native Americans. National Museum of the American Indian. Smithsonian Institution. 43.
P. S. All of this is geared towards a TEKS-based lesson. What I would really want to do is have the students read these Native American young people's original poems and then have my students use their imaginations to write poems based on their own personal cultures!

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