learning goal: to understand the traditional elements of a tanka
The inspiration for today’s lesson comes from Japanese poet-teacher, Chimako Tada.
See this international poetry site for additional material about and by her.
activity sequence (to be described in more detail during class)
From the poems on the whiteboard, write your favorite two on the first blank sheet provided. Underneath the second poem, write answers/notes of answers to these questions: What draws you to these two poems (each poem can have its own answers, general or specific)? What patterns of FORM and CONTENT do you see across most of the poems? What significant differences of FORM or CONTENT do you notice among these five? Given the knowledge that a traditional tanka has a “turn” in the third line, how might you explain the turn in the two poems you recorded?
[because of the fire drill part-way thru F block that class reached just this point; the other classes’ activity will be adjusted accordingly, which may or may not mean we proceed to the next exercise]
When your assigned row is called, approach the poems behind the black boards against the west window–choose one that someone else has not already selected. Remove the cover, read the whole poem, return to your seat to write as much of the poem as you remember–on the second blank sheet provided. When your row is next called, re-visit the same poem and commit the remainder of it to memory before going back to your seat to finish the copying.
After you have the whole poem copied, compose two additional lines of seven syllables each, doing your best to make a turn out of the last line of the original.