Lesson Plan 3
Students will listen to the Christina Rossetti poem “Precious Stones” and identify the rhyming words in the poem.Students will classify emerald, ruby, sapphire, diamond, opal and flint as stones.Students will define “precious” as highly prized or priced; valuable. Students will be able to cite the three similes in the first stanza of the poem and explain that in each simile, a stone’s color is being compared to another thing.Students will be able to explain that flint is a stone that, when struck against steel, produces a spark.Students will be able to explain in their own words how the flint is both the same as and different from the other precious stones described in the poem.
Copies of Christina Georgina Rossetti’s poem “Precious Stones” Photographs or illustrated book on stones and gems
This poem is a good example of why poetry is a good vehicle through which to teach reading to special education students. It is short, it rhymes, has few difficult vocabulary words, is uncomplicated and contains similes which require the students to see the relationship between two different objects. After studying this poem, students should be able to read and perhaps memorize it.
“Precious Stones” contains a moral, or lesson on which the class can base a discussion. This allows the students to go beyond the poem itself and relate the moral of the poem to their own lives.
The teacher will begin by leading a discussion of what precious stones are and possibly show the class photos of the gems mentioned in the poem. Before reading the poem, the teacher would be sure that the class understood that flint is used to create a spark. The teacher would read the poem through twice and then have students volunteer to read it aloud. Students would identify the rhyming words in the poem, blood/mud and desire/fire. The teacher would elicit from the students that the poet is comparing the color of the gems with other things and have the students identify the similes. Students might suggest their own similes to describe the colors of the gems. Students would be able to answer the following questions when the class discussed the poem:How is the flint different from the other “precious” stones?How is the flint the same as the others?Why does the poet describe the flint as lying in the mud?In the last two lines of the second stanza, “An opal holds a fiery spark/ But a flint holds fire”, what is the poet saying about these two stones?Can you think of an instance where you would rather have a flint that any of the other stones mentioned in the poem?
To include phonics in this reading lesson, the teacher may take the word “spark” from the poem and have the class examine the sound unit “ark” as pronounced in “spark” The class may list as many rhyming words as they can think of, including bark, dark lark, Clark and stark. Then the teacher will build longer words using the a-r-k spelling. For example, beginning with:
The reading and discussion of this poem may be extended by elaborating on the lesson of the poem. Students may discuss the differences between the appearance of something and its function. They may give examples of how something may be useful, precious, even vital and not be attractive.