Before starting the lesson, I asked a few questions to students:
- What does the phrase, 'I Wonder' mean to you?
- Have you ever wondered how plants eat?
- Have you ever wondered why you can feel the wind but cannot see it?
After discussing the questions to students, I showed the following video (Lemon Tree - Fool's Garden):
The following version is quite cool too and I like its tune better than the first video:
After showing the video (my students love the song and ask for a repeat), I asked students, "What is the person in the video wondering about?".
Then, I told the students briefly that the person / the man in the video is waiting for his true love but she never came. Maybe, the girl has said and made a promise to him that love is as beautiful as a blue sky. So, he waits, and waits for her - she never came - and he only sees a lemon tree. So, the song basically tells us about a man who is wondering when his true love is going to come to him.
I didn't go really deep into the song.
Okay (I told my students), actually the song is related to the poem that we are going to learn today. The poem is also about a person who is wondering or pondering about something that he/she doesn't understand.
I modeled how to recite the poem with the correct pronunciation and enunciation. Then, I asked students to choral read the poem. Normally, I would ask the boys to recite the first stanza followed by the girls until they recite all stanzas. I will always remember what my literature lecturer, the lovely Ms Hendon of IPBA, told us that poems are meant to be read aloud.
Next, I told students the meaning of the poem:
Lines from the poem
I wonder why the grass is green,
The persona wonders why the grass has to be green.
And why the wind is never seen?
The persona wonders why she can feel the wind but cannot see it.
Who taught the birds to build a nest,
The persona wonders how the birds know how to build a nest.
And told the trees to take a rest?
The persona wonders why the trees are always standing straight and tall, never once sitting down to have a rest.
O, when the moon is not quite round,
Where can the missing bit be found?
At night, the persona sees the crescent moon and wonders why it is not always round.
Who lights the stars, when they blow out,
During the day, the persona cannot see the stars. So, the persona wonders who light the stars at night.
And makes the lightning flash about?
The persona wonders who causes the lightning to flash.
Who paints the rainbow in the sky,
The persona wonders how the colourful rainbow appears in the sky.
And hangs the fluffy clouds so high?
The persona wonders who hangs the fluffy clouds up so high in the sky.
Why is it now, do you suppose,
That Dad won’t tell me, if he knows?
Finally, the persona wonders why his father does not answer his questions. Maybe, his father does not know the answers.
After that, the discussions lead to the persona, themes and moral values of the poem.
The persona of the poem:
- The persona is the voice in the poem (the person who might say the lines in the poem)
- The persona might be an inquisitive child who observes the world around him.
Themes: (What the poem is mainly about)
- A child’s curiosity (Sifat ingin tahu kanak-kanak). Children loves to ask questions about anything that they do not understand.
- The wonders of nature (Keajaiban alam semulajadi). People who take time to stop and appreciate nature will find that nature is amazing.
Moral values : (What can we learn from the poem)
- There is an existence of God (Terdapat kewujudan Tuhan)
- Care for our environment (Pelihara persekitaran)
- We must have a strong desire to learn a lot of knowledge. (Mempunyai keinginan yang tinggi untuk menambah ilmu pengetahuan)
I prepared the following video for the use in the classroom. Enjoy watching & learning!