"A Poison Tree"; A Lesson Plan
I use the poem, "A Poison Tree". I took the poem together with some of the ideas about teaching it from the "RICH" anthology and teacher's guide; created by Dr. Ora Zohar with Arleen Eidelman, Susan Haber and Aviva Pinchuk.(Published by The Ministry of Education/Hebrew University) I would like to thank Dr. Ora Zohar for her permission to use the material.
Look at the following cartoon. (source of cartoon; unknown) What do you see? What do you think the cartoon is trying to say? (If you need help, look at the questions below the cartoon)
* Who do you think is in each picture?
* What emotions are being expressed in each picture?
* What do you notice about the size of the characters in each picture? * Which picture is very different than the others? In what say? * There are two kinds of violence shown in this cartoon - what are they? * What is the relationship between the two types of violence. After you study the poem, "The Poison Tree", see if you can find a connection between the cartoon and the poem.
A POISON TREE (from songs of Experience -1794 ) by William Blake I was angry at a friend: I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry at a foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow. And I water'd it in fears, Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles. And it grew both day and night, Till it bore an apple bright;
And my foe beheld it shine.
And he knew that it was mine. And into my garden stole
When the night had veil'd the pole:
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretch'd beneath the tree.
Have them circle all the "it"s in the poem. (There are 7). and identify them. They will find that "it" is the wrath, but it is pictured metaphorically first as a plant, then as a tree, then as a fruit, and finally as a poisoned fruit. Have the kids try to explain why...
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