I'm doing an activity with my 11th grade American lit students about annotating poetry. The focus will be on characters, setting, tone, and author's word choice.
The poem I've chosen is Lineage by Margaret Walker. ( Collapse )
The rationale for this poem is:
1. It's short with simple vocabulary (my students read well below grade level, and since I'm just introducing this specific technique I don't want to overwhelm them!)
2. Characters and setting are really easy to describe
3. We're about to start reading Kindred
by Octavia Butler, a time-travel novel where a young black woman is sent back in time and meets her ancestors (a white master and a black slave). There's a lot of conflict between how she is able to act as a young black woman in the 1970s versus in the 1830s, and I like the similar thematic elements in this poem.
So. My question: I'm looking for artwork that I can use in a warm up in the same way - lots of information to pick out about the characters, setting, and tone of the piece, that is hopefully connected thematically to womanhood, ancestors, slavery, and/or the conflict of the individual versus society. Suggestions?