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        Connections to Personal Experiences - Bees? Yikes!

        Students make connections between a video about bees and their own personal experiences through a poem written for two voices.

        Lesson Summary


        Students share personal experiences they have had with bees. They then watch a video clip about handling bee hives and wearing a beard of bees. They respond to the video by connecting their response to personal experiences through a poem for two voices.

        Why is this an important concept?

        Connecting new information to personal experiences helps learners comprehend and clarify their responses to literature. Learners can apply and accommodate vocabulary and meanings they already understand to new situations and concepts.

        Grade Level:


        Suggested Time


        Media Resources

        • Bees QuickTime Video


        The Lesson

        Part I: Learning Activity

        1. Begin by reading the Poem for Two Voices handout aloud to the class. You will need a second person to read it with you.

        2. Move on to a whole-class discussion. Ask students to share personal experiences they have had with bees. How do they react to bees now based on past experiences with them?

        3. Distribute copies of the Responding to Video Venn Diagram handout Explain how to use the structure of the Venn diagram to sort experiences. Students note their personal experiences in the appropriate section of the handout using note style.

        4. Explain to students that they're going to watch a video segment to learn about handling bees. They should think about how their personal experiences connect to what they see in the video segment. While watching the segment, they should jot down notes on the other two sections of the Venn diagram. Play the video more than once if necessary, pausing at intervals to allow time for note-taking.

        5. Share more poems for two voices. Discuss the structure of this genre. Explain how to write a poem for two voices.

        Part II: Assessment

        1. Distribute copies of the Personal Experiences: Poems for Two Voices rubric to students and explain how activity will be assessed.

        2. Students choose or you assign partners to write poem. If they feel their personal experiences with bees are very similar to the video, they might want to partner with a student who has dissimilar experiences.

        3. Distribute the Poem for Two Voices worksheet Partners write a poem for two voices in which one voice reflects their personal experiences and the second voice represents the voice found in the segment. Items that fall in the center part of the Venn diagram will be the lines in which both voices say the same thing at the same time.

        4. At the end of the poem, each student should write a two- or three-sentence statement that explicitly describes how their response to the video connected to their personal experiences.

        5. Partners read their poem out loud to the class using appropriate inflection, intonation, rhythm, and pace.

        6. Use the Personal Experiences: Poem for Two Voices Rubric to grade the poems and performances.

        For students who need additional teacher guidance:

        1. Provide writing assistance as needed. For example, provide question prompts for students to respond to when thinking about their personal experiences with bees.

        2. Practice reading the poem aloud with students before they read it to the class.

        3. Encourage students to read many examples of poems for two voices before writing their own. (See Related Resources.)


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