Lesson: Observation and Perspective

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(Consider taking students to the museum or the transfer station and having them choose an “object” for this activity)

Read Wallace Stevens’ “13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.’

In the poem, Stevens describes 13 different ways of looking at a blackbird. Some of Stevens’ observations are concrete others are more philosophical.

Your assignment is to describe your object from five different perspectives.

You can interpret Stevens’ methods of observation and adapt your own accordingly. You can describe the object based on how it relates to its surroundings; you can describe the object based on the impact it has on you; you can describe the object and how it relates to humanity — whatever.

Or

You can describe the object from someone else’s perspective. For example, imagine what your best friend would say about the object. Imagine what your mom, dad, grandmother, grandfather would say about the object. Become an art critic, an anthropologist, an expert in a particular field, a native hunter, the artist who created the piece. If you choose to describe an animal, you must become that animal.

DO NOT begin your description with, “My mother would say …’ or “My dad would say …’

Become that person (or object), and write (from their perspective) like they would write.

On Monday you will turn in this sheet along with your five descriptions.

If you have questions, please ask.

Enjoy!

 

LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW IF YOU TAUGHT THIS LESSON IN YOUR CLASSROOM. HOW DID IT GO? WOULD YOU DO IT AGAIN? DID YOU MAKE ANY MODIFICATIONS?

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