Monday, February 14, 2011

Poem - The River (Form 1)

The tranquility and beauty of Sedim River, Kedah.

Introduction
The River is one of the new literature components for the English subject. The poem is written by Valerie Bloom. The Form One students in the year 2010 have started exploring and learning this new poem.


Synopsis of the poem

The River is about the many faces of a river.  The river is a wanderer where he moves all over the place.  He does not sit still and is always in motion.  He is also a winder where he twists and turns.  He meanders.  He  is  also a hoarder where  he  keeps  things  deep  down in  his  river bed.  Sometimes, he is a baby when he is happily flowing along. At times, he is a singer as seen through the happy sounds of the water.  Finally, he is also a monster and can devour trees (most probably referring to a flood).

How I went about teaching the poem
I remembered teaching this poem to my first formers last year during my practicum.

I began my lesson by showing students a few pictures of clean rivers from a PowerPoint slide:

Relau River, Pahang

Congkak River, Hulu Langat, Selangor

Then, I asked and discussed the following questions with students:
  1. What can you see from these pictures? (Anticipated answer: They are the pictures of rivers)
  2. How do the rivers look like? (Anticipated answer: The rivers are clean)
  3. How do you feel when you see these pictures? (Anticipated answers: calm/relaxed/happy/peaceful/etc.)
  4. Why do you feel calm/relaxed/happy/peaceful/etc? (Anticipated answers: The rivers are clean and beautiful/ There are no rubbish in the rivers / It is great to have a picnic with our family beside the river/etc.)
Next, I showed students a few pictures of dirty rivers:

Sibuti River, Sarawak

SEORANG nelayan menunjukkan Sungai Pinang berhampiran jeti nelayan yang terlalu kotor serta berbau busuk.<br />
Pinang River, Pulang Pinang

Then, I asked and discussed the same question with students:
  1. How do the rivers look like? (Anticipated answer: The rivers are dirty/polluted)
  2. How do you feel when you see these pictures? (Anticipated answers: I feel sick/sad/angry/disgusted/etc.)
  3. Why do you feel sick/sad/angry/disgusted/etc? (Anticipated answers: People don't take care of the rivers' cleanliness/ All marine life will die/ The clean water source will deplete / etc.)
I related the above activities by telling students that they were going to learn a poem entitled "The River" by Valerie Bloom. The poem consists of 6 stanzas.


The river’s a wanderer,
A nomad, a tramp.
He doesn't choose any one place
To set up his camp.

The river’s a winder,
Through valley and hill
He twists and he turns,
He just cannot be still.

The river’s a hoarder,
And he buries down deep
Those little treasures
That he wants to keep.

The river’s a baby,
He gurgles and hums,
And sounds like he’s happily
Sucking his thumbs.

The river’s a singer,
As he dances along,
The countryside echoes
The notes of his song.

The river’s a monster,
Hungry and vexed,
He’s gobbled up trees
And he’ll swallow you next.

First, I modeled the recitation of the poem. This is an important step to allow students to hear how a poem is read with the correct pronunciation and enunciation. I read aloud the poem by playing a background music by Kitaro's Silk Road. The music is not only calming to hear but also sets the mood and suits the title of the poem. Watch the following video to hear the music:


After modeling the recitation of the poem, I instructed students to choral read the poem. I normally ask students to take turn reciting the poem. For example, the girls will read the first stanza, then the boys will read the second stanza, and they will take turn until all stanzas are read.

Next, I asked students to form six groups. Each group comprised of 5 or 6 students. The lower forms classes in my school normally comprise about 40 students. So, it is quite difficult to get students to form and work in smaller groups. Subsequently, students in groups used the dictionaries to find the meaning of unfamiliar words:

Group 1 - wanderer, nomad, tramp (words from stanza 1)
Group 2 - winder, valley, twists (words from stanza 2)
Group 3 - hoarder, buries, treasures (words from stanza 3)
Group 4 and 5 - gurgles, hums, echoes (words from stanzas 4 and 5)
Group 6 - monster, vexed, gobbled (words from stanzas 6)

I used the The River_Unfamiliar Words_Meaning handouts in the classroom. Later, as homework, students may cut and paste the words and their respective meaning side by side in their Literature Exercise Book. After finding the meaning of words, we shared the answers with the whole class.

Next, I explained the meaning of the poem from the PowerPoint slides that I had prepared. The slides have been converted into a video format. So, anyone can watch and use this video in their lesson. 




You may also download the slides in PDF format - The River - Poem Meaning. (Download Adobe Acrobat)

For reinforcement activities on the words learned from this poem, teacher may give these handouts - Crossword Puzzle, Odd One Out & Jumbled Letters Exercises.


Reference & credits
The Synopsis of the poem and all handouts came from the New Literature Component for Form 1 CD that I received from the New Literature Component Course that I attended at the Pusat Kegiatan Guru Salak, Sepang last year. Credits to the panels of writers for preparing all the useful materials in the CD:

DIANA FATIMAH AHMAD SAHANI (COORDINATOR)
BAHAGIAN PEMBANGUNAN KURIKULUM
KEMENTERIAN PELAJARAN MALAYSIA

AMAR SHOBHA SARNA (PANEL HEAD)
INSTITUT PERGURUAN MALAYSIA KAMPUS ILMU KHAS,
KUALA LUMPUR

YONG WAI YEE
SMK SERI HARTAMAS, DESA SERI HARTAMAS,
KUALA LUMPUR

ANDREW LEONG KONG MENG
SMK AIR ITAM, GEORGETOWN,
PULAU PINANG

ABANG MUAMMAR GHADDAFI
SM TEKNIK BINTULU,
SARAWAK

NADIAH CHOONG ABDULLAH
SMK DATUK MANSOR, BAHAU,
N.SEMBILAN

ASMAH ABU HADZIM
SMK PUTRAJAYA PRESINT 9(1),
PUTRAJAYA
  

33 comments :

painkiller said...

Hi there~ this one helps me a lot, cuz the info and materials are complete n interesting. I'm happy that I've found your blog. I found your video from Youtube, I even downloaded it and showed it to my students. It really helps! May Allah bless you :)

Teacher Nuha said...

Hi painkiller.. feel free to download the materials & use it in your lesson.. i'm so glad that i could share my passion with other English teachers out there :) May Allah bless you too

Anonymous said...

Hi Miss Nuha .. your blog helps me a lot. I'm your student from 1 Era 2. I enjoy reading this blog :)

Teacher Nuha said...

Thanks for the comment. Learning English is fun right?

Anonymous said...

hi miss nuha..ur material is useful and complete with all the info that i want..thanks for sharing it !!! it really hepls !!

from : shai

Teacher Nuha said...

hi shai, i feel honoured to be a little helper here. thanks for visiting :)

eizan said...

hi miss nuha..ur material is very useful to me as this is my first time teaching english..kindly ask for ur approval to use the materials in my class..

Teacher Nuha said...

hi eizan, feel free to download any materials from my blog. Happy teaching!

Mosnah Tamsir said...

Hi miss nuha. your blog really help me a lot. fresh new idea and exciting too. thank you so much.
from: mosh

Teacher Nuha said...

Thanks for the comment Mosh :)

Anonymous said...

Great materials, congrats..

oiyy_google said...

hi miss Nuha.... your blog is best and kreatif......i enjoy read this blog Thanks a lot..

Teacher Nuha said...

hi oiyy_google, thanks 4 visiting my blog. hope it helps you in learning English :)

Teacher Nuha said...

dear Anonymous 10:22 PM, thanks

Anonymous said...

Hi, Miss Nuha... I'm glad that I found ur blog.. I enjoy it so much! It helps me a lot in my teaching... I seek for your approval to download the materials.. Thank u!
~Miss Peace~

Teacher Nuha said...

Hi Miss Peace, Feel free to download any materials from my blog :)

Anonymous said...

Great Job Teacher! Your teaching materials are fun and fits the need of the young learners.

Teacher Nuha said...

Thanks. Your comment motivates me to be a better teacher :)

shanorlaily mohd mokhtar said...

Thank you sooooo much. you really help me!!!!

Teacher Nuha said...

you're welcome shanorlaily

Anonymous said...

thank you miss nuha . you realy help me in my exam . dear miss nuha !for your information i am in krk negeri perak class.

Anonymous said...

thank you miss nuha .you already help me on my literature exam which is tomorrow.for your information ,i am from 1rk 1of smk idris shah gopeng ,perak.
from mr.pintar.

Teacher Nuha said...

Hi Mr Pintar, I'm sure that you have done your best for the English exam today. I'm happy to know that you've gained some knowledge from this blog. thanks for visiting :)

Anonymous said...

SALAM. I M ONE OF THE NON-OPTIONIST TEACHER WHO GETS TO TEACH ENGLISH FORM 1. THANK YOU FOR THE TEACHING MATERIALS. IT HELPS A LOT. THANKS AGAIN.

I M A T-CHER

Teacher Nuha said...

Waalaikumussalam,you're welcome! I hope that you have a great time teaching English even though u're a non-optionist :D

Diana Fatimah said...

Cheers, Pn Nuha.. I enjoyed reading your blog.. The Literature Guidebooks for Teachers for Forms 1 - 5 have been published... And you can also download the soft copy from the BPK website... Do drop by at BPK in Putrajaya if you're hereabouts...
Diana

Teacher Nuha said...

Thanks Puan Diana Fatimah.

Anonymous said...

THX FOR THE HELP TEACHER!!!!LOVE U !!MUAXX!

Teacher Nuha said...

You're welcome :)

Anonymous said...

hi. this is very good for my "minggu pencerapan" by my GK. She's also asked me to share this with the other teachers. Do you have anything as good as this for form 5 (poems & novel)? tq.

Teacher Nuha said...

Dear Anonymous,

I really apologize for the late reply. Thanks for the comment. I'm so sorry, I don't have any materials for Form 5 as I don't teach the upper secondary. Sorry I can't help you with that.

Anonymous said...

hi, miss Nuha, how i need to create my own " The River" poem? could you help me?

Anonymous said...

As-salam. SALAM. I am also non-optionist teacher who have to teach english form 1, 2 and 5.Thanks for this usefull meterials. It's help me a lot. But, tell me, how to copy this including the visual meterials? TQ.

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