Use the Neruda poem, “Ode to my Socks,” as a foundation for this activity. The goal of this assignment is to help your students generate material for their own node poems that create new and strange connections for their clothing. “Listing” is the primary pre-writing strategy for this assignment.
Level: Middle School
A piece of clothing owned by the teacher, preferably a scarf.One worksheet per student
- If a day has passed between the start of this assignment and the Neruda activity, it is helpful to review “Ode to my Socks” with your students.
- Using the scarf you brought into class, model the listing activity of the assignment on the board.
a. State the origin of the scarf
b. Brainstorm five analogies for the scarf (e.g. a retired wind sock, a peacock’s lost feather, a silk roller coaster for hamsters, a fur necklace)
c. Brainstorm three analogies for what the scarf covers (e.g. “a neck is like a signpost,” “a neck is the smooth surface of an underground waterway,”)
d. Choose three of the five “Favorite Item” analogies.
e. Choose two of the three “Covers” analogies.
- After modeling this activity with the help of your students, distribute the worksheet. Give your students plenty of time to work on these. If they become stuck, you may want to allow them to collaborate on the analogies with partners. Be sure to walk around the room and encourage and excite the students with new ways of thinking about their favorite garments. Some students may rush through this assignment, and you should challenge these students to avoid clichés and be more innovative and challenging with their connections.
- For homework, have your students take their worksheets home and type up their lists.
In the spaces below, list four of your favorite pieces of clothing. Next to “Origin,” write how you acquired the garment. Next to “Covers,” write what this garment is meant to cover. In each of the lines next to the favorite garment, please create five analogies for each garment.
For each of the items on the line “Covers,” create three analogies.
Review what you have written for the analogies section. For each “Favorite Item” of clothing, circle three analogies that you would like to keep. For each “Covers” analogies, circle two you would like to keep.