Tonight I will be using Macon, Bewell & Vogt’s “Somebody Wanted – But-So” technique to look at the poetry assigned in my unit on teens at home. I find this technique to be an excellent strategy for dissecting difficult pieces of poetry, short stories, or novels with struggling readers, and I will definitely be using it with my own future students.
Here is the background on this technique:
Students learn to summarize the action, problem, or event presented by a story or poem by identifying key elements.
Step One: Identify the “Somebody” (the protagonist)
Step Two: Identify the “But” (what the somebody tried to do and what prevented him/her from doing it)
Step Three: Identify the “So” (how the somebody solved the problem)
For example:Using the “Somebody Wanted – But-So” technique with Cinderella:
But: Wanted to go to the ball but didn’t have a dress to wear
So: Fairy godmother appears with clothes
The beauty of this technique is that it gives a solid base to the text, which students can then embelish upon as their understanding of the main action or problem grows. Point of view is also explored as students share their Somebody-But-So interpretations with each other after completing the activity. -Sofia