Middle School Study Unit
In 2017, Fort Atkinson educator Joel Van Haaften worked with the Friends of Lorine Niedecker to develop a study unit for use in middle school classes and educational groups.
The objective of this unit is to introduce the poetry of Lorine Niedecker to middle school classes and middle grade educational groups. Students will read three Lorine Niedecker poems that focus attention on the natural world. Students will be expected to discuss all of the three poems and are encouraged to explore further the flora and fauna that Lorine exhibited in her poetry. Finally, the students will be given the opportunity for a nature walk in their local community.
High School Study Unit
In 2005, the Friends of Lorine Niedecker worked with Tiffiny Shockley to develop a study unit designed for use in high school classes.
The intent of this unit is to provide students in a twentieth-century literature class with an awareness of who Lorine Niedecker was as a woman and poet. Students will read about Niedecker’s life, the principles and values shared by ‘Objectivist’ poets, and experience watching a short video of Blackhawk Island with a poem read aloud. After the short unit students should have a written paper applying some of the ideas that were important to ‘Objectivist’ poets to poems written by Lorine Niedecker.
The study unit is designed to meet the following criteria:
- It is appropriate for general high school students.
- It complies with Wisconsin’s Academic Standards for Reading/Literature at the twelfth grade level.
- The unit can be rolled into a larger unit on 20th century poetry, Wisconsin writers, or general poetry. It can encompass at least two 40-minute teaching periods.
- Lesson One: Introduction to Niedecker and the Objectivists
- Lesson Two: Biographical Poetry
- Lesson Three: Objectivist and Political Poetry
- A short biography of Lorine Niedecker
- Background knowledge on the Objectivist poets
- Poems needed for the lessons
- A bibliography for further interest
- Short biography slide presentation
- Video reading of Paean to Place (7 min)
- List of speakers available for presentations on Lorine and her poetry
- Printable bookmarks with photos and Lorine’s poetry: