I alluded to Poetry Pairing a long time ago when I posted about the New York Times Learning Network, but I think it is well-deserving of its very own post. Poetry Pairing is a collaborative effort between the New York Times and the Poetry Foundation. Each week, a poem and a current article are selected to pair together. Comparing the articles to the poems, which are all selected from the American Life in Poetry Project, can bring some very rich conversation into the classroom. By juxtaposing poetry, some of which was written centuries ago, with current events, readers (or listeners, if you use a text-t0-speech program) can examine the common themes and trends they might observe. They can debate the messages of each piece, and whether or not they complement each other or markedly contrast.
I selected this particular pairing because of its poem, written by an 8 year old, and its article, which spoke to my heart, about this process of creating that children so enjoy – and the process of sifting through these creations that parents must endure. It is a particularly poignant example of the interesting weekly combinations brought about on this site.
Even if your students are not quite old enough to appreciate the posts found on the New York Times site, I think that this is a lovely idea for a lesson that could be brought to younger students as well. Using shorter poems and current stories that are relevant to them, a teacher could integrate many higher order thinking skills using this framework.