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16 Words: William Carlos Williams & “The Red Wheelbarrow” by Lisa Rogers and Chuck Groenink

We read this book during a poetry unit.  I assigned students to Poet Clubs where they read and analyzed poems by a certain poet.  One of the poets the students studied was William Carlos Williams. This lovely book was a perfect model for showing students how to infer the meaning of a poem and the poet’s purpose in writing it.

Through Lisa Rogers’ imagined story, my students learned about William Carlos Williams.

“He was a doctor who lived in Rutherford, NJ.”

“He wrote poems between patients.”

“He tried to capture images in poems.”

“He wrote poems like conversations about everyday things.”

Then, they were able to identify strategies to use to make inferences about the meaning of poems in general.

  • Learn about the poet’s life.
  • Use your own background knowledge.
  • Look carefully at the words.
  • Think about what else the words could stand for. 

Be sure to read the informative Author’s Note at the end!

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