How do I give a presentation on "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" in class?

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coachingcorner's profile pic

coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

If I had to give a presentation on a poem such as the beautiful "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost, I think I would narrow down the theme to a very specific element and make sure that is presented in the title of my presentation. This would ensure that in trying to cover too much, essential elemnts are skimped over. One theme only would allow me to give Frost's exemplary poetry the thorough and respectful treatment it deserves. If for example, I chose "The effects of silence and stillness" I would work slowly work through the text, picking out effective words,figures of speech,literary devices tone and style that adds to the effect on the reader. I love the idea of night,blackness, the wonderings of the horse, the feathery flakes of snow softly falling without making a sound,the "aloneness" without isolation and so on. You could compare his other poems at the end.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

As with any overall presentation, there are many options available to you.  I think that one way could be to have students read the poem in small groups and give them some leading questions such as what they think the meaning of the poem is, what is happening in the poem, and why the last line is repeated along with its meaning.  Afterwards, you could have a discussion with each group's findings.  This would allow everyone to focus on the poem as well generate discussion and a sense of divergent "buzz" about the poem.  Another tact would be to read it aloud and then have students in a large group comment on it.  Finally, another method of "presenting" the material would be to develop about six or seven thought provoking questions about the poem.  These questions should be very large in nature such as how the poem views death, the "beauty" of the woods, as well as the purpose of life.  Such themes or "big questions" would work well.  On a large piece of paper in different areas of the room, write each question out at the top of the paper and then have students write out their comments on different questions, with the only rule that they must cite specific lines or parts of the poem as a prerequisite to posting.  In this case, everyone is able to participate in their own discussions and the discussions of others and more than one discussion can transpire.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

This will depend very much on how your assignment is worded.  What is your presentation supposed to be like -- what questions are you supposed to answer?

You might focus on how the poem makes you feel and why.  For me, the poem makes me feel very peaceful.  The imagery of the dark and the quiet and the falling snow make me feel this way.

You might focus on what you think the poet is trying to say in this poem.  If you want to do that, you can look in the "Question and Answer" part of this group.  There are two times recently when people have asked about the themes of the poem -- you can look at those answers.

Those are my best ideas.  Please let us know if you have a more specific question.

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