Monday, April 09, 2012

Paul Revere's Ride

Excellent Example, Richard Frazier:
Paul Revere's Ride: The Landlord's Tale
Longfellow, H.W. (2003). Paul Revere's ride: The landlord's tale. Harpercollins.

This poem came from our textbook on page 78.

I have a deep-seated passion for history and I have read the Paul Revere poem several times but never from the illustrated book. Charles Santore brought another element to this historical piece of poetry with his beautiful illustrations. This particular rendition of Paul Revere's famous ride is presented as a single illustrated poem. History is a touchy subject for our students. I have noticed that students simply do not care about history or see the importance of learning about it. I do not have the luxury of teaching history because social studies is not taught at the grade levels I work with. But, I do find ways to work some of my favorite pieces and history lessons into my teaching. The great thing about this poem is that I can use it in my third grade classroom. There is a wealth of vocabulary that my children have not been exposed too that can be found in this poem. Also, I believe that students do not become engaged with history because it can be hard to see. The illustrations found within this book are excellent and provide wonderful detail through realistic art. I was impressed with the detail that the illustrator used and this is evident when looking at the British solider's uniforms.

The meaning is clear-cut when reading this poem. For beginning readers and non-readers alike I feel keeping lessons simple is crucial, especially when working with poetry because many of my students have negative thoughts about poems. I love how the poem is being told to a group of younger people by an older gentleman. I believe this is an excellent metaphor for the classroom; a group of young students waiting for the older teacher to wisk them away into a lesson that opens their minds and engages their thoughts. The poem uses similes throughout in order to bring the words to life. An example of this is when Paul and his horse dash off like a bolt of lightning.

This poem is presented as a narrative poem as it weaves through the faithful events that transpired when Paul made his famous ride that played a pivotal role in our nation's history. I believe this poem would be an excellent source to use around President's Day or even Memorial Day. Without Paul Revere we would not be able to celebrate our presidents and Memorial Day is a day set aside the remember the people and their deeds that have impacted our lives.

Paul Revere's Ride: The Landlord's Tale is an excellent poem and an excellent book that can be used from grades 2 and beyond. Second graders would benefit from reading short passages from the book and discussing simple poetry terms. As children increase in age and grade level they could experience more of the tale. Poetry is a wonderful form of literature and our history is essential to our future. For me combining the two and having the opportunity to teach them is a gift from God.

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