Lesson Plan for
Waiting to Waltz:
by Cynthia Rylant
From Waiting to Waltz: A Childhood
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Rylant, Cynthia. Waiting to Waltz: A Childhood. Illus. Stephen Gammell. New York: Macmillan Books for Young Readers, 1984.
Waiting to Waltz is an example of Appalachian children's poetry at its finest. Students will get a firsthand account of how poetry is used to portray the life of ordinary residents living in Appalachia. Students will be able to relate personal family experiences and write poetry based on these experiences. Students will discuss and form their own opinions based on the illustrations. The majority of the poems are written in free verse; therefore, students will not have to be concerned about establishing a rhyme pattern. In addition, the illustrations are dynamic in that they allude to real life drama, thus allowing students to make connections to the world they live in.
Grade Level: 6th
Subject: Language Arts
Time Frame: 2 days, 45 minutes each day
Materials: copies of poems, overhead, transparencies
Cynthia Rylant portrays the thoughts and ideas of a young girl reliving her childhood memories in the form of poetry. The poems help the reader to gain insight into Rylant's early childhood--her encounters with individuals in her neighborhood and those she felt close to.
In the DLTA, the teacher reads a small portion of the poem. The teacher stops and asks students to make predictions, draw conclusions, and make inferences. The procedure continues until the poem is finished.
1. What is the setting of the poem?
Additional AppLit Resources: