All The Colors of the Wind (And Other Stuff): Color Symbolism's Multiple Meanings

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SWBAT draw inferences on diction by analyzing the use of color symbolism in one piece of poetry.

Big Idea

Red is Passion, White is Pure, Purple is Royal, Blue is Loyal: What meanings do we attach to colors?

Intro & Welcome: It's National Buy a Donut Day

3 minutes

I greet students at the door, welcome them to National Buy a Donut Day, and let them know the Friday Favorite this week will be donut-related.

Understanding Color Symbolism: Universal and Contextual

10 minutes

I ask students to think about their favorite color, and what the color "means" to them. I then ask students to consider the American flag, and why colors red, white, and blue were chosen for the flag. I point out that colors can be symbols, just like the things we associated with them the other day on the America symbolism brainstorm. In red marker, I write "RED" on the board, and ask what the color red is symbolic of. We brainstorm and list a few examples, before taking a look at Phillis Wheatley's poem, "Upon Being Brought form Africa to America." 

Today, we review some of the questions I assigned from the poem, mainly focusing on how Wheatley plays with colors and word meaning as we continue our look at the impact of diction on a work (RL.9-10.4). 

As I call on students to review, we address the dual meanings of "benighted" and "die/dye," the meaning of sable as a color, the Biblical allusion of the mark of Cain, and I introduce the idea of homophones. The teacher directed review provides a quick method of going through the important information, and from the vantage point of the front of the room, I can easily identify who has strong answers written, and who I can tap to answer the questions in class. 

Test Review II: What Do You Want To Know

35 minutes

As with the end of class the previous day, I "open the floor" to student questions on the material. I remind students that there are no bad questions, as someone else in the room is probably thinking the same thing. As such, they should listen carefully to what the other students ask, and take notes as we discuss. The open forum format of this discussion allows students to initiate and participate in the discussion, and building on each others’ ideas (SL.9-10.1). When the whole-class review exhausts itself, and for those less comfortable about asking in front of the class, I ask students to review on their own or quietly with a partner.