Poems to be discussed

General Instructions

1. Divide up tasks fairly and equitably: each group member is to be the lead writer on at least two answers, which must be signed when posted.

2. Assist one another through brainstorming and referring to the texts.

3. Strive for agreement on each member's contribution.

4. Each member is to be held responsible for his or her own contribution to the presentation.

5. Work in close proximity to one another.

6. For each question, have one person act as recorder, one as reader, and one as questioner.

7. Let no one member dominate the group.

8. Agree on meaning of instructions and key words before beginning.

9. For this exercise, only three persons constitute a "group."

10. Form groups of three. Determine who wishes to answer which questions. After each member of your group answers questions relevant to your group independently (in point form, if you wish), proceed with the assignment as a group. You will need a dictionary and a guide to literary terms.

Tasks Applicable to All Six Poems:

1. State the main idea ("theme") of the poem in a sentence.

2. Identify and explain as many figures of speech as you can find.

3. Explain how you think the poem deals with its subject in terms of its form. If it is a sonnet, for example, how is the Petrarchan or Shakespearean form used to convey the subject effectively?

4. What changes in the persona's attitude, tone, and/or mood do you detect?


1. As a group, reach a consensus for each answer. You'll need a scribe Write your answers in sentence form (one set per group). Peer-edit your written work.

Sign and post your written answers for a group mark after your discussion. Each member should be able to explain each answer that he or she contributed.

2. At the end of your discussion and prior to posting, each member of the group should assign the group a mark on the booklet, using the following scale:

Excellent: 91 to 100%
Very Good: 81 to 90%
Good: 71 to 80%
Fair: 60 to 70%
Passable: 50 to 59%
Unacceptable: 0 to 49%

Each member of the group is to hand in his or her initial answers on the booklet provided, whether these are in sentences or in point form.

3. Each group will be assigned the question corresponding to its number for each of the five poems; for example, Group One will have to produce answers for the first question on each of the five poems. Answers should be written neatly on the large post-its provided. The first signature will be that of the person primarily responsible for producing that answer.

4. Extensive quotation is not necessary; if you wish to draw your reader's attention to more than a few words in the poem, merely give the line numbers. Any direct quotation should be followed by the line number in parentheses.

[These questions were created for English 1112 by Dr. P. V. Allingham, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario, CANADA, based on units developed for English Literature 12 in Conjunction with Virginia Smith, formerly of School District 61 (The Greater Victoria School District) British Columbia, Canada].

English 1112 (Introduction to Literature Written in English 2) is a single-semester introductory course for first-year students at Lakehead University. Its major emphasis is the study of four major texts determined by each instructor.]

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