Group Analysis: Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

16_08_25-snow-scene_web.jpgA combination of jigsawing and students on the move (though this time it’s the poem on the move) this activity gets the class working together to analyse a poem. You can either split the class into four groups (one for every stanza) or you can split them into eight groups. If you have a big enough class I think eight groups is a good idea because you will probably end up with a much wider response to the same poem and a few more original ideas. Though the two halves (four groups in each) will work independently from one another. Here is this lovely poem by Frost:


 Here’s how the group analysis works:

  1. Give each group a copy of the poem (ideally on A3 with lots of room to annotate). Then give each group a responsibility for a stanza for which they must come up with 5 questions. These questions should address how the poem is written as well as what it is about.
  2. The poem is then passed round so that everybody is given somebody else’s. With the new sheet in front of them they must select the 3 best questions the other group asked about their own stanza. The sheets are then passed on again.
  3. This time groups need to try and answer the 3 questions given to them about a stanza. If a group started off with stanza 1 in the first stage, they will now be answering questions on stanza 3.
  4. Form new groups with one person from each original group. In these new groups students should try to produce a commentary or an ILSP grid (Interpretation/Language/Structure/Personal Response) for the entire poem. You may need to provide a framework for the commentary. See my post about the ILSP grid for more info on that.

I hope that is clear enough….if you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch.


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