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St. Rita's Well
7th grade Language Arts
The success of St. Rita’s Well in Texas marks the beginning of the oil boom in the Permian Basin. You can read about it here. Seventh grade Texas history students study the Age of Oil in class, but there’s a great opportunity for cross curricular instruction for 7th grade Language Arts teachers.
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The arts mold and mirror culture. Often songs, paintings, and poetry commemorate important events. The St. Rita Well is no exception. Found among a collection of poems at the Petroleum Museum in Midland, Texas, was the poem, “Rose of Texonoiland”.
Using this poem in a language arts class to create a cross content connection is a great way to reinforce student learning and for students to see how what they are learning in their language arts class has broad applications.
One lesson idea is to read the historical account of the St. Rita Well linked above and then to have your students analyze the “Rose of Texonoiland” poem using the TPCASTT (Title - Initial Reaction, Paraphrase, Connotation, Attitude/Tone, Shifts, Title - Conclusive Remark, Theme) method.
TPCASTT is a great way to teach poetry to your classes. Here’s an article that explains how you can use TPCASTT in your classroom. Many high school classes use this instructional tool, so introducing it to your students in 7th grade is a great opportunity to show them the types of critical thinking they will be exposed to in high school.
Check out this simple graphic organizer to use with your students using TPCASTT.