AP Literature Poetry Reciprocal Teaching Activity

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Lattes and Lit
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11th - 12th
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10 pages
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Learning Objective

Students will learn how to facilitate their own discussion and analysis of the themes, structure, comparisons, devices, and diction in a selection of poetry.


Prepare your students for the AP Lit. Poetry Q1 essay and passage-based portion using this close reading strategy sure to boost student comprehension of poetry!

Reciprocal teaching is a common method for raising reading comprehension in the middle and high school classroom that is highly under-utilized in the AP classroom. However, this activity is specifically geared towards advanced learners and is designed to increase student understanding and confidence in relation to complex prose passages.

This activity is comprehensive and includes a reciprocal teaching guide, five AP-level poems, a discussion planner, and rubric. If you would like a better idea of how this works in my own classroom, you cancheck out my blog post about reciprocal teaching here.


Like this? Check out some of my other AP Test Prep. Resources:

1. AP Literature Poetry Reciprocal Teaching Activity

2. AP Literature Reciprocal Teaching Bundle

3. Exam Prep. Choice Board


Alignment to AP Literature Curriculum Framework:

STR-1: The arrangement of parts and sections of a text, the relationship of the parts to each other, and the sequence in which the text reveals information are all structural choices made by a writer that contribute to the reader's interpretation of a text.

  • 3.C: Explain the function of structure in a text.
  • STR-1.D: Line and stanza breaks contribute to the development and relationship of ideas in a poem.
  • STR-1.E: The arrangement of lines and stanzas contributes to the development and relationship of ideas in a poem.
  • STR-1.F: A text's structure affects readers' reactions and expectations by presenting the relationship among the ideas of the text via their relative positions and placement within the text as a whole.
  • STR-1.AC: Ideas and images in a poem may extend beyond a single line or stanza.
  • STR-1.AD: Punctuation is often crucial to the understanding of a text.
  • STR-1.AE: When structural patters are created in a text, any interruption in the pattern creates a point of emphasis.
  • 3.D: Explain the function of contrasts within a text.
  • STR-1.G: Contrasts can be introduced through focus; tone; point of view; character, narrator, or speaker perspective; dramatic situation or moment; settings or time; or imagery.
  • STR-1.H: Contrasts are the result of shifts or juxtapositions or both.
  • STR-1.I: Shifts may be signaled by a word, a structural convention, or punctuation.
  • STR-1.J: Shifts may emphasize contrasts between particular segments of a text.
  • STR-1.AF: Juxtaposition may create or demonstrate an antithesis.
  • STR-1.AH: Paradox occurs when seemingly contradictory elements are juxtaposed, but the contradiction can reveal a hidden or unexpected idea.

FIG-1: Comparisons, representations, and associations shift meaning from the literal to the figurative and invite readers to interpret a text.

  • 5.B: Explain the function of specific words or phrases in a text.
  • FIG-1.C: Words or phrases may be repeated to emphasize ideas or associations.
  • FIG-1.D: Alliteration is the repetition of the same letter sound at the beginning of adjacent or nearby words to emphasize ideas or associations.
  • FIG-1.M: Descriptive words, such as adjectives and adverbs, qualify or modify things they describe and affect readers' interaction with the text.
  • FIG-1.N: Hyperbole exaggerates while understatement minimizes. Exaggerating or minimizing an aspect of an object focuses attention on that trait and conveys a perspective about the object.
  • 5.D: Identify and explain the function of an image or imagery.
  • FIG-1.O: Descriptive words such as adjectives and adverbs, contribute to sensory imagery.
  • FIG-1.P: An image can be literal or it can be form of comparison that represents something in a text through association with the senses.
  • FIG-1.Q: A collection of images, known as imagery, may emphasize ideas in parts of or throughout a text.
  • FIG-1.AH: Symbols in a text and the way they are used may imply that a narrator, character, or speaker has a particular attitude or perspective.
  • 6.A: Identify and explain the function of a simile.
  • FIG-1.E: A simile uses the words "like" or "as" to liken two objects or concepts to each other.
  • FIG-1.F: Similes liken two different things to transfer the traits or qualities of one to the other.
  • 6.B: Identify and explain the function of a metaphor.
  • FIG-1.H: A metaphor implies similarities between two (usually unrelated) concepts or objects in order to reveal or emphasize one or more things about one of them, though the differences between the two may also be revealing.
  • FIG-1.J: Comparisons between objects or concepts draw on the experiences and associations readers already have those objects and concepts.
  • FIG-1.R: Metaphorical comparisons do not focus simply on the objects being compared; they focus on the particular traits, qualities, or characteristics of the things being compared.
  • FIG-1.S: Comparisons not only communicate literal meaning but may also convey figurative meaning or transmit a perspective.
  • FIG-1.U: Interpretation of an extended metaphor may depend on the context of its use; that is, what is happening in a text may determine what is transferred in the comparison.
  • FIG-1.AI: A conceit is a form of extended metaphor that often appears in poetry. Conceits develop complex comparisons in surprising and paradoxical ways.
  • FIG-1.AJ: Often conceits are used to make complex comparisons between the natural world and the individual.
  • FIG-1.AK: Multiple comparisons, representations, or associations may combine to affect one another in complex ways.
  • 6C: Identify and explain the function of personification.
  • 6.D: Identify and explain the function of an allusion.
  • 5.A: Distinguish between the literal and figurative meanings of words and phrases.
  • FIG-1.L: Words with multiple meanings of words and phrases.

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Total Pages
10 pages
Answer Key
Rubric only
Teaching Duration
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