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Northern Drive to St Lucy
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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Comments on "Venus goddess of love" poem

This poem “Venus goddess of love” is written in Open Form poetry (notice that the first letters on each line spell out the title of the poem). Open form poetry is really Free Verse. It looks like metered poetry at first glance. However, it does not conform to established patterns of meter, rhyme and stanza. It derives its rhythmic properties from the repetition of words, phrases or grammatical structures, the arrangement of words on the page, or by some other means.

The Twentieth century American poet E. E. Cummings is well known for writing Open Form poetry. Indeed, his poems do not have measurable meter, but they definitely have great rhythm. He experimented radically with structure, punctuation, spelling and syntax. As it were, he abandoned traditional techniques and created his highly idiosyncratic means of poetic expression. His critics said of him that he settled into his signature style and did not bother to carry his work to the next evolutionary level. Be that as it may, Cummings’ simplistic poetic language, his playful mode and obsession with topics on war and sex continues to capture the poetic hearts of young readers. It is now forty-eight years since his death but his poetic style lives on.

In this open form poem the explicit meaning is about a love relationship. In addition this poem shows didactic threads covertly embedded. Secondary school educators will find many suitable teachable themes for their thematic lessons for the integrated curriculum. Examples of some of didactic threads extracted from the Venus goddess of love poem are shown below.

Poem: Venus goddess of love

Teachable Themes and Topics:

The Mythology of Venus
Religious festivals
Science fiction movies, novels

Solar Terrestrial Planets


NASA Missions
Venus Explorations:

Barbados Involvement in Space Projects
High Altitude Research Project- Harp
Space Research Corporation-SRC
Martlet projectiles

Important Personalities and events that affected the project
Dr Gerald Bull
Saddam Hussein
Vietnam War
South Africa under Apartheid
Israeli Mossad
1991 Gulf War
Iranian Vevak intelligence agency

Why Barbados ousted SRC from its shores?

Integrated Curriculum:
English Language
English Literature
Aerospace Technology Mathematics
Science (Aerodynamics and Ballistics)

The integrated curriculum is a philosophy of teaching in which content is drawn from several subject areas to focus on a particular topic or theme. Rather than studying mathematics or social studies in isolation, for example, a class might study a unit called The Ocean, using mathematics to calculate pressure at certain depths and social studies to understand why coastal and inland populations have different livelihoods. Effective interdisciplinary teaching includes the following elements:

A topic that lends itself to study from several points of view;

Two to five valuable themes (or essential questions) the teacher wants the students to explore;

An approach and activities to further students’ understanding more than is possible in a traditional, single-discipline unit.

Thematic instruction is the organization of a curriculum around macro “themes.” The thematic lesson integrates basic subjects (reading, math, and science) with the exploration of a broad topic, such as communities, forests, the use of energy, communication, water, transportation and so on.

The thematic lesson is based on the idea that students acquire knowledge best when learning in the context of a coherent “whole,” and when they can connect what they’re learning to the real world. The thematic lesson seeks to put the teaching of cognitive skills such as reading, mathematics, science, and writing in the context of a real-world subject that is both specific enough to be practical, and broad enough to allow creative exploration.

The thematic lesson usually occurs within an entire age-range (grade level) of students. Educators of all the different subjects taught in that particular age-range (grade) work together as a team to design the interdisciplinary curriculum, instruction methods, and assessment around a preselected theme. Typical procedures include:

Choosing a theme – Themes often involve a large, integrated system (such as a city, an ecosystem, and so on) or a broad concept (such as democracy, weather, and so on). Instructors often strive to connect the theme to the students’ everyday life

Designing the interdisciplinary curriculum – The educators involved must organize the learning objectives of their core curriculum (both process skills and content knowledge) around the theme. In the study of transportation, for instance, mathematics might involve calculating transportation costs; social studies could look at the nature of transportation; science might study computational transportation science like sensors and wireless devices; and literature could study books and novels that focus on transportation, such as the “Age of the Bicycle” by Charles Ashbacker, “Wagon Tracks” by Robert Harter.

Designing the instruction – This usually involves making changes to the class schedule, combining hours normally devoted to specific topics, organizing field trips, teaching in teams, bringing in outside experts, and so on.

Encouraging presentation and celebration – Because thematic instruction is often project-oriented, it frequently involves students giving collective presentations to the rest of the school or the community.

The thematic lesson can be a powerful tool for reintegrating the curriculum and eliminating the isolated, reductionist nature of teaching around disciplines rather than experience. It requires a lot of hard, initial design work, plus a substantial restructuring of teacher relationships and class schedules.

Hints on writing a didactic poem in Open Form

Now that you have read many poems written in open form, decide on what rules in traditional forms of poetry you plan to manipulate in the poem you will create. Think about a time where you were struck by a particular image: how you came upon that image; how that image made you feel; seeing the image, what flashed across your mind when you saw it? Select a title for that experience and decide on teachable thread you will weave into the poem.

Start composing your poem in open form. The Venus poem should serve as a model for writing your poem in open form.

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Haiti Under Rubble from 7.0 Earthquake

Natural disasters whenever and wherever they occur impact on all of our lives. The Good Book says we are our brothers and sisters keepers lead by the Holy Spirit. Hence, we must do our part when disaster shows its ugly face. Any assistance, great or small, given from generous and loving hearts has equal weight. I'm passing on this information I received that Barbadians can go to First Caribbean Bank to donate to the Disaster Relief Fund for Haiti. The banking information is shown below:

First Caribbean Bank Account--2645374-- Cheques can be written to: HELP #2645374

For more information click on this link

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti.

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