by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
Photo by Kellie Szkatulski
Workshop Title: Comfort
Say, “What’s something you do that brings you immense comfort and satisfaction? What about this act is so comforting to you? Explain.” Then give your students time to discuss.
Read “Baked Goods” by Aimee Nezhukumatathil. When you’re done, briefly discuss the tone of the piece and the elements that make it so warm and comforting.
Say, “Think of an activity that you partake in when you’re looking for a source of comfort or joy. Then write down everything you can think of that comprise this activity, i.e. the sounds, smells, tastes, etc.” Then give your students time to brainstorm.
Ask your students to compose a poem similar in sentiment to “Baked Goods” in which they discuss an activity that brings them comfort, satisfaction, or joy.
When the students are done, have them share their responses with one another.
Area of Focus: Tone
If your students are not familiar with the concept of tone or tonal shifts, go through the introductory lesson.
Watch the following scene from the movie Chef. When the clip is over, ask your students to identify the tone(s) – and general mood – of the scene and the elements that contribute to it. Then discuss.
Read “Baked Goods” by Aimee Nezhukumatathil. While you’re reading, have your students pay close attention to the tone and general “feel” of the poem. When you’re done, briefly discuss.
Ask your students to open the following document and go over the instructions with them. In this assignment, your students are going to examine the poem – in the style of a recipe – and analyze how the language of the piece contributes to the tone/meaning of the work as a whole.
Ask them to read their “recipes” to the rest of the class and have them share why they think the various tones were needed to make the poem “whole” or “complete.”
- Creativity / Imagination / Writing
- Food / Hunger
- Home / Homelessness
- Labor / Work
- Figurative Language
- Selection of Detail