Advice, please - Poe's vocabulary

Discussion in 'High School' started by kavade, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. kavade

    kavade Rookie

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    Feb 10, 2008

    Hi ,

    I'm an intern teacher teaching sophomore English to kids who failed English - and practically all their other classes - last year. The students are supposed to read Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death" soon and I am trying to figure out how to approach the problem of
    Poe's vocabulary. Every sentence, it seems, has two or three words
    the kids most certainly won't know. It seems overwhelming.

    Any techniques out there that might help with this?

    Thanks for any suggestions,


    Kavade
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 11, 2008

    You probably already found this: http://www.webenglishteacher.com/poe.html.

    What about doing some work on vocabulary before you begin the unit, with emphasis on roots and affixes that will be useful with Poe, and with emphasis on unpacking words syntactically, morphologically, and contextually?

    Could you have kids work in teams on figuring out words?
     
  4. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Feb 11, 2008

    The vocabulary of so much of early/middle American literature can intimidate our students.

    The first thing I do is give them a fairly detailed overview of the story before we start. If they know where the story is going, then they'll have more confidence working around those complicated words.

    Secondly, I try to find a good recording of the story, or I read it aloud. There are students who can handle reading Poe independently, but if you're dealing with a struggling class, and from what you posted, I'm assuming you are, then I wouldn't make them read it alone.

    Third, give them some sort of graphic organizer to complete as you are reading the story. Plan a couple of stopping points in your reading for them to work on the organizer and discuss what they've read.

    Honestly, I wouldn't get hung up on the vocabulary. Pick a couple of key words to study before hand, but I've found the summary before reading is much more effective in aiding comprehension.
     
  5. lmjcatz

    lmjcatz Rookie

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    Feb 11, 2008

    I taught a Poe mini-unit before Christmas break to my 10th grade lower level students. I chose a number of words from each story to focus on for pre-reading vocabulary. Then I copied the stories, and for many words I thought they may not be familiar with I wrote a one or two word definition or a more familiar synonym for (I wrote it in above the word in question). I also included notes on the sides which clarified allusions and in some cases paraphrased or summarized what was going on or being said. This worked well because the students who were absent when we read/listened to the story weren't totally lost trying to read it on their own, and I think the overall frustration level due to being lost in the language was significantly reduced. Although I was somewhat apprehensive initially as to how it would turn out, the students enjoyed the unit and I was pleased overall with the results.
     
  6. kavade

    kavade Rookie

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    Feb 15, 2008

    Thank you for the input folks. I'll mull over all these suggestions and see what I can come up with. Luckily, I do have a little time before
    we need to start this.

    Thanks again.
    kavade
     
  7. KDS

    KDS Companion

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    Feb 22, 2008

    if you go to
    www.pbs.org/teachers

    select reading & langauge arts and then type POE as a search, there are a TON of Poe resources that might help
     
  8. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 22, 2008

    Have a hug, kavade.
     

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