Ok: first of all an admission. The title of this post, with its impossibly bold claim to distil teaching poetry into a series of neatly packaged steps, is somewhat overzealous. In a manner somewhat, and unfavourably, all too familiar to the last year, I fear it will overpromise and underdeliver.
However, what it will do, hopefully, is offer up a kind of template, a broad horizon of possibilities, that will seek to capture and condense what a typical poetry lesson for me might look like. Of course, within this template any individual lesson may vary, dependent on class or poem, but it should indicate a certain sweep of what a poetry lesson may look like.
So let’s imagine the following scenario: the students have the lesson’s poem in front of them. They haven’t yet read the poem and have no prior knowledge of it. What could happen next?