In "Windows and Mirrors," a Tapestry of Faith program
If the group is large, form small groups. Give each adult facilitator a copy of the poem (Handout 2) and a copy of the prompt questions (below).
Settle the group(s) for discussion. Distribute the poem and pencils/pens. Invite the children to read the poem silently and jot down any thoughts about it. Then, read it aloud or have pre-arranged volunteers read it.
Explain that now the children will practice listening and discussing skills to understand the poem from the multiple perspectives in the room (or small group). Ask participants to pay particular attention to the poem and their own reaction to it—not what others say about it.
Invite children to briefly retell the poem in their own words. What children recall and relay tells you what they found most meaningful or memorable. After they have shared, suggest a method discussion, a line-by-line exploration of the poem, reflecting on what each line means to individuals in the group. Use the discussion questions to explore the poem and children's responses to it. Getting through all the questions is less important than drawing out children's individual responses to the poem as a whole; if you are running out of time for the line-by-line study, skip to the final three questions to give the discussion a meaningful conclusion.
If the group has energy around a particular line, begin there. Or, start at the beginning and re-read aloud the first line:
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth.
And sorry I could not travel both
And having perhaps the better claim, because it was grassy and wanted wear
Though as for that the passing there had worn them really about the same
And both that morning equally lay in leaves no step had trodden back
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
Now step back and talk more generally:
Invite the group to consider the poem's first and last lines as one sentence:
Two roads diverged in a wood... and that has made all the difference.
Affirm all responses and thank the children for taking the time to think about this poem.
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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