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.
- Project the image of the rabbit in the garden. Ask your students to look closely at the image.
- Ask them to write down answers to the following questions: What do they notice in the photograph? How does it make them feel? What associations do they have with this image of a rabbit in a garden?
- Have your students turn and talk with a partner about their responses to the above questions, using evidence that they have written down. Make sure both students get a chance to talk while they are in pairs.
- Hold a whole-class discussion where your students share their reactions to the photo and their evidence.
- Project “A Small Needful Fact” by Ross Gay from Poets.org. Ask your students to read it twice silently. The first time, they should read the poem through. The second time, they should write down the words and phrases that jump out at them.
- Ask a student to read the poem aloud to the class. Have the listening students write down new things they notice with this reading. Repeat this process while a second student reads aloud.
- Hold a whole-class discussion: What words and phrases does Ross Gay repeat to keep the rhythm of the poem moving? Why does he use the image of Garner’s role as a gardener? How do your reactions to the photograph of the rabbit in the garden help you understand the poem? Why does he end with breathing? What do your students think Gay is saying about Eric Garner? What is their evidence from their reading and listening to the poem?