I sat before my AP Literature class and asked a question about the poem we had just read. It wasn’t a tough question: “What is the first thing you notice?” I want students to react to a poem as an opening move. I don’t want to get weighed down in devices or the “deeper meaning” before we simply discuss what we notice first. I want them to consider their initial reactions before we dig deeper.
“What is the first thing you notice?” I asked, again.
My thirty students responded with collective silence. Some kids looked at me, some looked at their shoes, and some pretended to search for meaning on the ceiling.
Silence. … KEEP READING