Produced for K-12 educators, Teach This Poem features one poem a week from our online poetry collection, accompanied by interdisciplinary resources and activities designed to help teachers quickly and easily bring poetry into the classroom. The series is written by our Educator in Residence, Dr. Madeleine Fuchs Holzer, and is available for free via email.
Play your students a five-minute selection of Antonin Dvorak's orchestral poem “The Wild Dove,” conducted by Alexander Rahbare with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
- Ask your students to sit with their eyes closed, then play the first five minutes of “The Wild Dove.” Play the music again, and this time, ask your students to write down what they hear in the music that makes them imagine a wild dove. When they listen to the music, what do they imagine the wild dove doing? Ask them to turn and talk with a partner about what they heard and imagined.
- Project the poem “Peace” in front of the class. Ask your students to read it twice silently. The first time, they should simply read the poem through. The second time, ask them to write down words, phrases, and structural elements that jump out at them. What questions do they have about the poem (including any words they do not know)?
- Ask one student to read the poem aloud to the class. Ask the listening students to add new words and phrases that jump out at them to their lists. Repeat this process a second time, with another student reading the poem aloud.
- Ask your students to gather in small groups to share what they noticed in the poem and any questions they have. Ask them to brainstorm answers to one another’s questions and to help one another research any questions they can’t answer themselves.
- Whole-class discussion: Ask your students to share what they heard in the music that made them imagine a wild dove’s actions. How does this compare with the wild wooddove in Hopkins’s poem? How does the image of the wild wooddove in the poem help them think about what the speaker in the poem is saying about peace?
- Continue the whole-class discussion comparing and contrasting Dvorak’s music to the music of the words in Hopkins’s poem.