Song of a Sock

poem by Anonymous , rainbow Socks by fenwench is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Learning intention:

I am learning to draw comparisons between multiple texts so that I can respond to texts in context.

 

Success criteria:

  • I can respond to a poem using my personal perspective.
  • I can draw connections between different text types with the same theme.
  • I can respond to a poem using a different perspective.
  • I can compare my perspectives before and after learning the context of the text.

 

Essential Knowledge:

  • More information about the roles of the composer and responder can be found in the English Textual Concepts video Authority.

 

Without telling students the origin of the poem (found in a pair of socks sent to troops in France during World War I, 1914–1918), read Song of a Sock aloud to the class. Discuss what students think the poem is about (who, when, where, why) and their thoughts on author and receiver. Sample answers may include: The poem is about someone knitting socks for a loved one; the author is from Australia; the receiver has moved to France; it must be cold in France; the author wants the receiver to return to Australia.

 

Students draw two columns in their workbooks. In the left column, have them write the thoughts they have about the poem, as discussed. Leave the right column blank for now.

 

Read the origin of the poem (found in a pair of socks sent to troops in France during World War I, 1914–1918). Ask the class if their ideas of the poem have changed. Discuss any new perspectives students have on the author and receiver.

 

As a class, read the article Hidden in the Attic (pp 9-11) in this issue of Blast Off. Ask students what the connection is between the article and Song of a Sock. Students should recognise the article is also from World War One and set in France. Some students may posit that it could have been one of the soldiers in the photographs that was the recipient of the pair of socks. Ask students to reread the article and examine the pictures and consider how the various soldiers in the photographs would have felt receiving the socks and poem. For example, the soldiers holding up the sign saying WE WANT OUR MUMIE might feel homesick and a desire to return to their loved ones. The smiling soldiers on page nine might be feeling proud and happy to have the socks and poem as a reminder of what they’re fighting for.

 

Ask students what else they know about soldiers during World War One. Example discussions might feature the landing at Gallipoli, Anzac Day, The Western Front and trench illnesses.

 

Revisit the poem Song of a Sock with the class. Emphasise that no one knows who wrote the poem and there is no mention of a recipient. Ask students to consider the poem from their new perspective of when and where it was found. Students fill out the right column in their workbooks, answering the same questions as before (what they think the poem is about (who, when, where, why) and their thoughts on author and receiver). Have students compare their answers before they knew the context of the poem and their answers after. In pairs, students discuss how their response to the poem has changed.