Pre-reading Activity: Brainstorming the word "Grandmother"

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Pre-reading Activity: Brainstorming the word "Grandmother"

What comes to your mind when you think of the word "grandmother"?

שמש 1






washed the sheets

כיבסה את הסדינים

filled with tears

התמלאו בדמעות




לכוד, כלוא

sunned the mattresses

אווררה את המזרנים

pass by

חלף ליד

tired bones

עצמות עייפות / גוף עייף

Fill in the sentences with the words above:
  1. After cleaning the bedroom, my mother ________________________________ and __________________________________.

  2. I came out wet from the pool, and I looked for my _________________________.

  3. The movie was so sad my eyes __________________________________________.

  4. He felt _________________ in prison.

  5. After the school trip, I felt my body was such a ___________________________.

  6. Every time I _______________________ my friend's house, I smile to myself.

Grandmother / Sameeneh Shirazie

I hadn’t asked her much,

just how she felt,
and she told me all about her day,
and how she’d washed the sheets,
and how she could not understand
why the towel got so heavy
when it was wet.
She’d also sunned the mattresses,
such tired bones and so much to do,
and my eyes filled with tears
when I thought of how I was simply
going to say “Salaam” and walk away
and so many words would have been
trapped inside her.
I would have passed by as if
what lay between those bedclothes
was just old life
and not really my grandmother.

Basic Understanding

  1. Who is the speaker in the poem?

  2. Who is the speaker talking about?

  3. What does the old woman do during the day? Name two things.

  4. Paraphrase the following words: “so many words would have been
    trapped inside her”

5. What do we learn about the old woman's life?

Literary Terms: Point of View

Point of view is the perspective from which the incident is told. We can find the point of view by asking: "Who is telling the story/poem?"

Every story/poem is told by someone. That person is called the narrator. There are several kinds of narrators:

1st person: The person telling the story/poem is a character in the story and uses the word “I” in his storytelling.

3rd person: The person may or may not be a character in the story/poem, but he tells the story/poem about other people not about himself.

Omniscient: The person telling the story is not in the story at all. This person knows everything about everyone (what they think or feel) and knows what is happening to everyone at every second of the story.

Whose point of view is presented in the poem?


How does it help you understand the poem better? ________________________________________________________________________

Using the HOT of Distinguishing Different Perspectives to Analyze the Text

We learned the poem is told from the granddaughter's point of view.

  1. What is the speaker's attitude towards her grandmother?

  2. Did the speaker intend to stop and have a real conversation with her grandmother? Which words in the poem help you decide?

  3. What happened after the narrator stopped and asked her grandma how she felt?

How do you think both of them felt while talking to each other?

  1. How does the speaker's perspective change at the end of the poem? Which words helped you decide?

Literary Terms: Theme

The Theme of a poem/story is its central idea or message. We can usually find the theme by asking: "What is the poem/story about?" What do you think the theme of the poem is?

What is the theme of the poem? Is it the same as its message?

Bridging Text and Context Activity

1. Sameeneh Shirazie (1967) was born in Karachi, Pakistan, and grew up in a close-knit family. Her own grandmother, who lived with the family, was an important figure in her childhood. The poem Grandmother was written out of love and admiration for her.

How does this information help you understand the poem better?

Now that I know that Shirazie's grandmother ________________________________________________________________________

and that Shirazie really ____________________________________________________

I understand that the poem was written in order to ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

and that_________________________________________________________________

2. In Pakistan, the grandparents, parents and children live together in the same house. The children show great respect for their parents and grandparents.

How does this information add to your understanding of the poem, Grandmother?

Write 60-80(Module D) /80-100 (Module F) words.

Post- Reading Activity

Choose one of the following and write 100-120 words

  1. With a friend, make up a dialog which presents the poem and act it out to the classroom.

  2. Write a letter to your grandmother or grandfather and tell them what you appreciate about them. Make a comment on how the poem helped write this letter.
  3. Interview your grandmother / grandfather and find out what he or she does in her/his everyday life. Make a comment on how the poem helped write the interview questions.

  4. Bring a picture of your grandmother and write about your relationship you’re your grandmother. Describe her daily routing and the way you talk about it . Share with your classmates.


Look though all of the work you have done in this unit and answer the following questions:

1. Did you like the poem? Explain your answer in at least two sentences.


2. As part of this unit of work you were taught one Higher Order Thinking Skill (HOTS).

Distinguishing Different Perspectives

What did your teacher do to teach it to you?

How did the HOTS help you to better understand the poem?

How can you use it in your life?

3. Which activity did you enjoy the most? Explain why.


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