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Dark Matter and Dark Conflict in Poetry: A Comparison

Very little is known about our expanding universe.  Scientists and astronomers determined the composition of only four percent of our universe; the remaining 96 percent is a mystery, a dark mystery.  Everyday new findings and images are shared with the public about the possible explanations about dark matter and dark energy, but nothing is certain.  There are several theories and predictions about the composition and importance of the vast majority of our universe.  This is both scary and inspiring, thrilling and vexing.

The purpose of this unit is for eighth grade students in an ELA class to close read several informative and analytical articles about the existence of dark matter and dark energy and translate their understandings of the material into poetic form.  For two to three weeks, students will write in their “Captain’s Log” about the articles presented to them in class and further independent research.  This “Captain’s Log” is a collection of prewriting, revisions, and drafts for their writing portfolio.  The goal is for the students to submit two to three poems for final publication.  Students will annotate a couple of celestial and naturalist poems written by William Wordsworth and William Shakespeare, but students will draw their central conflicts and themes from the informational articles about dark energy and dark matter. 

Kathleen Therese Radebaugh

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