Poetic Summaries: Knowledge & Belief

Poetic Summary Activity:

When you read the Smith and Siegel article, I asked you to pick out 2-4 sentences that helped you better understand a tension you had experienced between knowledge and belief.

Form a group of 3-5 people and do the following:

1. Read your phrases aloud to each other. Discuss why you were drawn to these and how they help you better understand knowledge and belief (I am not assuming you see a distinction between the two). (6-7 minutes)

2. From among all the phrases you heard in your group, choose up to five and write them on your flipchart. Write them “as is” if they are short sentences or create a modified version if they are  long sentence.  The result is your poem. Feel free to add images and colour! (6-7 minutes)

3. Choose someone to read the poem out loud to the whole class. Your poem will be unique and will capture the essence of your group’s ideas.


Thank-you to Nicola Simmons, PhD, who demonstrated this activity during a workshop.  She published a piece on this technique in the 2008 Summer Newsletter of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (see page 6).

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