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Welcome to the Teachers’ Instructions area for this student activity. Here you’ll find directions and suggestions for using this activity along with the materials you need to evaluate your students’ work.


Title: Bells, Bells and More Bells
Audience: Middle
Duration: 50 Minutes
Subject Area(s):
    Language Arts
Grade Level(s): 6,7,8,9


Teacher Directions:

In this activity, students will visit The Bells Web page to learn that listening to the melodic sounds and rhythm of the words of a poem often tells you a great deal about a poem that you might not have learned by simply reading it.

This activity can be completed using a variety of technology configurations. If a computer lab is available, students can access the activity, worksheets and Web pages through Thinkport.

Another option is to display the activity and Web page on a classroom computer with a projection device. In this case, students will need a copy of each worksheet.

Introductory Activity

In this activity, students will be introduced to the way Poe used words to create the tone of a poem. Students will read lines from “The Bells” and, based on the tone of each line, predict which of the life stages the stanzas are referring to. 

Write the following lines from ”The Bells” (one line from each stanza) on the board and opposite the poem lines write the words: newborn, wedding, life problem or crisis, and death. Make sure that the order of the stanzas and the words newborn, wedding, etc. are mixed up when you write them on the board.

What a world of merriment their melody foretells! (Answer-Newborn child)

In the silence of the night, How we shiver with affright. (Answer-Death)

How the danger ebbs and flows: (Answer-Life problem or crisis)

What a world of happiness their harmony foretells! (Answer-Wedding)

Ask students to predict which line from the poem goes with which topic, and discuss the reasons for their choices.

Viewing Activity

The focus for viewing the Poe narrative on the Bells web page is for students to determine if they agree with the Poe (John Astin) statement that music with a pleasurable idea is poetry.

1. Explain to students that they will be listening to a video clip about Poe’s thoughts on the importance of music and melodic words in poetry. After listening to the clip, they will decide whether or not they agree with Poe. Then, ask the students to open The Bells Web page at http://knowingpoe.thinkport.org/writer/thebells.asp and click on the play button to view the John Astin video segment. (A script of this segment can be accessed by going to the Classroom Connections page of Knowing Edgar Allan Poe at http://knowingpoe.thinkport.org/classconn/ ) After listening to the video segment, ask students if they agree with Poe’s statement that music with a pleasurable idea is poetry.

2. Explain to students that music or melodic words and sounds is very important to poetry and listening to the melodic sounds and rhythm of the words of a poem often tells you a great deal about the poem that you might not have learned by simply reading it. Tell the students to open The Bells Web page at http://knowingpoe.thinkport.org/writer/thebells.asp and launch The Bells poem interactive. Encourage students to experiment with the voice, sound effects and music buttons as they listen to the poem.

After students have listened to the poem, ask them if they agree with the statement that listening to the melodic sounds and rhythm of the words often tells you a great deal about the poem that you might not have learned by simply reading it.

The focus for viewing The Bells poem interactive is for the students to determine the tone of each stanza by listening to the sounds and rhythm of the words.

3. Divide the class into small groups and assign each group one of the stanzas of the poem. Ask students to listen to their assigned stanza, making sure that the emotion in the voice, music and sound effect buttons are all checked. Ask students to complete the Bells, Bells, Bells Worksheet as they listen to their stanza to determine the tone of their assigned stanza. Remind the students that they will probably need to listen to the poem several times with the emotion, music and sound effect buttons to complete the worksheet and determine the tone.

Postviewing Activity

Have each group report to the class on their stanza. In the order in which the stanza appears in the poem, have each group summarize the meaning of the stanza, the tone they think Poe is trying to convey and the melodic words or phrases that help set the tone. Discuss how Poe’s words create the sounds and images needed to create the tone of the stanza.

EXTENSION ACTIVITIES

1. Pass out blank pieces of paper and colored pencils. Tell students to free draw while they listen to the stanza one more time in order to capture the tone of their stanza in a drawing.  When students have finished their drawings, hang them up in order on the classroom wall. Discuss how the drawings convey the tone of each stanza.

2. Have students write a three-stanza school bell poem that describes how they feel when they hear the morning, lunch and closing bells during their school day. Remind students to use language sounds and sensory details to help create the tone of the poem. Students may record themselves reading their poem and use music and sound effects to enhance the poem.

 3. Have students invent characters and events to create a four-act play based on "The Bells."

 



Student Directions:
How can voices, music and sound effects enhance the telling of Poe's poem "The Bells"? Find out as you control the soundboard and select the voices, music and sound effects while you experience Poe's poem.



The Students will:
Students will be able to explain how Poe used language sounds, sensory details and imagery to create the tone in the poem "The Bells."



Bells Bells VSC  (View)

3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text: Students will read, comprehend, interpret, analyze and evaluate literary texts.

Grade 6

4. Analyze elements of poetry to facilitate understanding and interpretation
c. Identify and explain how sound elements of poetry contribute to meaning
Assessment Limits:
 Rhyme, rhyme scheme
 Rhythm
 Alliteration, assonance, consonance
 Onomatopoeia
 Connections between sound elements and meaning
d. Identify and explain other poetic elements, such as setting, mood, tone, etc. that contribute to meaning


Grade 7

4. Analyze elements of poetry to facilitate understanding and interpretation
c. Analyze sound elements of poetry that contribute to meaning
Assessment Limits:
 Rhyme, rhyme scheme
 Rhythm
 Alliteration, assonance, consonance
 Connections between and among sound elements and meaning
d. Analyze other poetic elements, such as setting, mood, tone, etc. that contribute to meaning
a.

Grade 8

4. Analyze and evaluate elements of poetry to facilitate understanding and interpretation
c.Analyze sound elements of poetry that contribute to meaning
Assessment Limits:
 Rhyme, rhyme scheme
 Rhythm
 Alliteration, assonance, consonance
 Connections between sound elements and meaning
b. Analyze other poetic elements, such as setting, mood, tone, etc. that contribute to meaning

Grade 6
7. Analyze the author’s purposeful use of language
b. Analyze words and phrases that create tone
Assessment Limits:
 Specific words and phrases that create tone
 Tone in the text or portion of the text

d. Analyze how sensory language contributes to meaning
Assessment Limits:
 Specific words and phrases that create sensory images
 Connections among sensory language, images, and meaning

Grade 7
b. Analyze language choices that create tone
Assessment Limits:
 Specific words and phrases that create tone
 Tone in the text or portion of the text

d. Analyze imagery that contributes to meaning and/or creates style
Assessment Limits:
 Specific words and phrases that create sensory images
 Connections among sensory language, images, and meaning

Grade 8

B. Analyze and evaluate language choices that create tone
Assessment Limits:
 Specific words and phrases that create tone
 Tone in the text or portion of the text
b. Analyze imagery that contributes to meaning and/or creates style
Assessment Limits:
 Specific words and phrases that create sensory images
 Connections among sensory language, images, and meaning
 Connections among sensory language, among meaning, and style



Optional:

Drawing paper

Colored pencils or markers



Directions: As you listen to Poe (John Astin) describe how music and melodic sounds are related to poetry, you are to decide if you agree with the statement, "Music with a pleasurable idea is poetry." Later when you listen to "The Bells," you will determine how listening to the melodic sounds and the rhythm of the words can help explain what a poem is about. Go to The Bells Web page and listen to the John Astin video segment. As you listen to the Bells and Poe (John Astin) describe how music and melodic sounds are related to poetry. After viewing the clip, you are to decide if you agree with the statement, "Music with a pleasurable idea is poetry." Next, listen to the "The Bells," making sure to experiment with the voice, sound effects and music as you listen to the poem. Decide if listening to the sounds and rhythm of the words of the poem can tell you a great deal about the poem that you might not have learned by simply reading it.

The Bells This unique Web page allows you to manipulate a soundboard in order to add voice, music and sound effects to Poe's poem "The Bells."
  http://knowingpoe.thinkport.org/writer/thebells.asp
  Can listening to the melodic sounds and the rhythm of the words of a poem really tell you more about the poem than just reading it?


Directions: Now you will choose, or be assigned, one stanza of the poem to listen to again. Click the Bells, Bells, Bells Worksheet below and complete it to help you determine the tone of the stanza. Listen to the poem a few more times as you complete the worksheet. After you have completed the worksheet, consider how the words Poe's words create the sounds and images that influence the tone of the stanza.

Bells, Bells, Bells Worksheet  (View)

Directions: You may choose to complete the activities outlined below.

Extension Activity

After you have completed the worksheet, listen to the stanza again and freely draw a picture that represents the tone of the stanza using blank pieces of paper and colored pencils.

Write a three-stanza school bell poem that describes how you feel when you hear the morning, lunch and closing bells at your school.

Remember to use language sounds and sensory details to help create the tone of your poem.

After you have completed the poem, record the poem using music and sound effects to enhance the poem.




Activity Signature

Author: Laurel Blaine