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The Language of Literature, Grade 8
Home > The Language of Literature, Grade 8 > Unit 5 > Dramatic Reading: O Captain! My Captain!
Return to book index Unit 5 : American Voices
Dramatic Reading: O Captain! My Captain!

O Captain! My Captain!
Dramatic Reading (p. 782)

Present a dramatic reading of "O Captain! My Captain!" Emphasize the rhyme and rhythm of the words, and explain their meaning. Pay attention to repeated words and phrases. Before you perform your poem, rehearse it several times so you will feel confident when you give the public reading. Here are some suggestions to make your practicing more effective.

  • Practice in front of a mirror. Watch yourself to see if you make eye contact regularly.
  • Get a second opinion. After you have read it a few times to yourself, perform it for a relative or a friend and ask them to give you some suggestions.
  • Experiment with reading styles. Try reading certain lines at a different pace or emphasizing different words to see how it affects the interpretation. Be sure to settle on a final delivery and practice it a few times, however, so you're not still experimenting when you perform in front of the class.

Try the suggestions from these Internet articles to add polish to your reading.

From Story to Stage: Tips on Reading rt/ Tips3.html
At this site, author Aaron Shepard offers tips for making your dramatic reading come alive.

The Academy of American Poets: Listening Booth audio.php
Listening to others read poetry aloud may give you some ideas for your own dramatic reading. Browse the titles in this catalogue to discover the different poems you can hear read aloud in the Academy of American Poets' "Listening Booth."

Ask the Speech Dr. terdoyle/ spdoctor.htm
Dr. Terrence Doyle, a professor of Speech Communication, answers questions about public speaking, including one from an eighth grader who is feeling too nervous to give his presentation.