Teaching auto wreck

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  • 1. Teaching “Auto Wreck” (1942)
    By Ryan Reede
  • 2. Step 1
    Give the students background information on the time period.
    Show a WW2 Documentary to the class such as “The Pacific” and let write down adjectives that describe what they see or hear regarding bloodshed on the Pacific Theater of WW2.
  • 3. Step 2
    Let the student read “Auto Wreck” by Karl Shapiro.
    Next, have them go back through the poem and generate a list of all of the violent, bloody and graphic imagery words used.
    Let the students find the similarities in their lists from the film and the poem
  • 4. Step 3
    Assign HW assignment to type of a one page biography on Karl Shapiro’s life.
    On the next day of class, go over his life, specifically his time spent on the Pacific (1940-1945) during the Second World War, and his role inside of a hospital there.
    Discuss the trauma one can go through seeing firsthand the destructive tendencies of war.
  • 5. Step 4
    Have the students respond to two questions.
    1. Describe how writing about an incident such as an automobile accident through personal war experience would differ from having that same accident described through the eyes of a news reported per se.
    2. How does the violent and graphic imagery in “Auto Wreck” tap into the emotions of the reader.