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"A Twisted Love Poem"

Estimated Time of Completion: One 50-minute period and one homework assignment, or two 50-minute periods.

I. Summary
II. Objectives
III. Materials Needed
IV. Procedure
V. Classroom Assessment
VI. Extensions and Adaptations
VII. Online Resources
VIII. Relevant National Standards

I. Summary:

For grades 9-12. The PBS In the Mix video "Twisted Love: Dating Violence Exposed" or Internet research serves as a prelude to the reading of a poem about dating violence. Students engage in a discussion about the meaning of the poem, then compose an essay about their interpretation and reactions to it.

II. Objectives:

III. Materials Needed:

IV. Procedure:

  1. Option 1: Show the video, "Twisted Love: Dating Violence Exposed"


    Option 2: Assign the research homework assignment during the previous class period. Give each student the list of Dating Violence Information Web sites, which includes a list of the following topics so they know what information to collect:

    • Dating Violence definition and statistics
    • Why are abuse and love often equated?
    • Examples of physical violence
    • Examples of emotional violence
    • Why it's difficult to leave an abusive relationship
    • Where and how to get help

  2. Follow up the assignment or video by giving some examples of various dating violence situations (i.e. telling your girlfriend that she's stupid, ignoring your boyfriend when you're with your friends, exploding in a rage when your girlfriend talks to another boy, etc.)

  3. After each situation, ask students if they feel these can be described as "violent" reactions. Did they learn anything in the video or research that surprised them?

  4. Ask a student volunteer to read "A Twisted Love Poem" to the class.

  5. Conduct a brief discussion about the meaning of the poem.

  6. Instruct students to compose an essay in which they interpret the meaning of the poem, going line by line. Students are to give additional examples of the six topics listed above, as well as discuss their personal feelings about the poem. The length of the essay should be determined by how long it takes the writer to cover the topics completely.

  7. If you viewed the video in class, assign the essay as a homework assignment; if students prepared by doing research, the essay should be an in-class exercise.

V. Classroom Assessment:

Score student essays according to the following 100 point scale:

VI. Extensions and Adaptations:

VII. Online Resources:

VIII. Relevant National Standards:

These are established by McREL at http://www.mcrel.org/standards-benchmarks/docs/contents.html:


Language Arts

About the Author:
Judy Terando
has taught Physical Education and Health since 1965, focusing on bringing technology into the classroom and spurring student creativity. She currently teaches high school in La Salle, IL.

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