Night of the Scorpion

Topics: Punctuation, Typography, Quotation mark, non-English usage Pages: 7 (1556 words) Published: June 3, 2011

Learning objectives:
• To be able to comment on the punctuation used by a poet and how this punctuation helps us to understand the poem’s ideas • To be able to identify and rhythm and the pace of a poem and explain the impact of these on the reader’s understanding


STARTER: (10 minutes)
Remind the students of what being a successful group discussion member actually means, using the first resource

In groups of 3, students should discuss their answers to the 4 questions, jotting down their key ideas.

After 5 minutes, explain to the students that we are going to read a poem about an accident that occurs in ANOTHER CULTURE. They need to play a ‘what-if’ game, and re-answer the questions. Model: “What if you didn’t have access to a telephone? What would you ‘do’ then? How would you feel then? How would that change your experience of the accident?” Each student should come up with 2 ‘What if’ questions and pose them to the group.


INTRODUCTION: (20 minutes)

Explain the learning objectives for the lesson and WHAT THE STUDENTS WILL GET BETTER AT DURING THE LESSON.

Turn to ‘How can a poet use punctuation?’ sheet. Ask the students to make links with the previous activity by asking them to discuss the following questions, one at a time for 1 minute each: ➢ If you were going to write a poem about an accident which has happened to one of your family members, which punctuation might you use in the poem BEFORE the accident happens, and why? ➢ Which punctuation would you use AS THE ACCIDENT IS HAPPENING and why? ➢ Which punctuation would you use IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE ACCIDENT and why? ➢ Which punctuation would you use HOURS AFTER THE ACCIDENT and why?

So, what could these punctuation marks be used to DO by a poet?

Introduce the word rhythm and ask the students for explanations of its meaning: record the clearest definitions on the board. Add your own: the rhythm of the poem is like its HEARTBEAT. They are going to investigate how the punctuation that a writer uses affects the rhythms of a poem and WHY the poet might have done this.

Focus on heartbeat: what would happen to our heart beat before, during and after a serious accident involving one of our family members?

Read the poem, “Night of the Scorpion” through twice. Allow the same discussion groups of students 3 minutes to talk about how the narrator’s experience of an accident is different to the one we would expect to have in our culture. Feedback each groups most important ideas.

DEVELOPMENT: (20 minutes)
Turn the students’ attention to the cardiogram resource. Explain how to use it: like a graph. Model the use of the cardiogram for the first few lines of the poem: stress that it doesn’t have to be 100% accurate: we just want to get an impression of what is happening to the poem’s heartbeat. Students continue in pairs to plot the graph. When they get to a really noticeable HIGH or LOW they need to annotate the graph with a quotation from the poem INCLUDING THE PUNCTUATION so that they can identify this point in the poem later on.

Turn the students’ attention to the questions about the pace and rhythm of the poem. Stress that there ARE NOT RIGHT ANSWERS – this is an investigation and we are genuinely interested in what they come up with in answer to these questions.

Explain to the students that there is one other major way that the writer has created pace and rhythm in this poem: another way that he has created the poem’s HEARTBEAT: through the use of REPETITION. Explain clearly what this is and record the definition on the board next to the lesson’s key words.

Using an OHT of the poem, model the identification of repetition in the first ten lines. In pairs, students should continue this process. Next model...
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