Lesson Plan

Teach This Poem: "Violin" by Nikki Wallschlaeger

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This Teach This Poem: "Violin" by Nikki Wallschlaeger lesson plan also includes:

Nikki Wallschlaeger's Violin is the featured poem in a lesson that uses music and multiple readings to delve deep into its analysis. After a writing warm-up, learners watch and listen to a video that showcases Regina Carter Quintet's performance and sketch images that come to mind. Two readings of the poem—aloud and independently—lead the class to small and whole-class discussions. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Include the lesson in a unit on poetry or jazz and blues music
  • Invite the school's or district's music teacher to be part of the lesson and add their expertise to the conversation 
  • Have jazz or blues music playing softly while participants work
Classroom Considerations
  • The video is long; try dividing viewing sessions to accommodate for younger class members
  • Reading assistance may be needed depending on the reading level of your learners
  • Includes lesson extension for grades 7-8 and 9-12
  • Provides a recorded reading of the poem by its author
  • The warm-up starts the lesson in a negative tone—add to the prompt how the failure turned into a success to shift the mood