Compare & Contrast Poetry, Hamlet & Rudyard Kipling's "If" – PDF & Google Drive

Rated 4.86 out of 5, based on 326 reviews
326 Ratings
Laura Randazzo
Grade Levels
9th - 12th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
  • Google Apps™
6-page PDF + Google Drive version of handouts (uneditable)
Share this resource
Report this resource to TPT
Laura Randazzo
Includes Google Apps™
The Teacher-Author indicated this resource includes assets from Google Workspace (e.g. docs, slides, etc.).

What educators are saying

I used this as a way to expose my 8th graders to high-level texts. This was a great resource. It also fit in well with our "This I Believe" end-of-the-year unit.
My students were really engaged while studying the two writing pieces and REALLY enjoyed making their own versions full of advice for their parents.


Help students analyze how a similar theme is developed in three different mediums by using Rudyard Kipling’s timeless poem “If,” Polonius’ advice to his son in a brief monologue from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and a newspaper columnist’s Guide to Life that went viral in the late 1990s. (Remember that whole “Wear Sunscreen” thing?)

This fun, attention-grabbing lesson was built to entertain and challenge high school students in grades 9 through 12, though advanced middle school students will also enjoy the materials.

The 6-page download includes (PDF + Google Drive version of student handouts):

• Detailed, step-by-step lesson procedure suggestions

• One-page attractively designed presentation of Rudyard Kipling’s “If” poem and Polonius’ “To thine own self be true” monologue to his son Laertes from Act 1, Scene 3 of Shakespeare’s Hamlet (includes wide margins to make annotation easier)

• Critical-thinking question handout that requires students to dig back into both texts and their own minds to find the answers

• Detailed answer key, designed to make grading easy and help you guide class discussion

• Optional creative writing activity where students flip the script and build their own Guide to Life, giving advice to middle-aged adults about how to live a full and satisfying life

• Links to modern text and video content

Due to the reflective nature of these pieces, this lesson works especially well as an end-of-term activity.

Want additional lessons like this? Click HERE for more high-interest informational text lessons.

NOTE: This item is also included in my English 9-10 full-year curriculum. If you already own the full-year download, please do not purchase this item here individually. If you’d like to receive this item plus everything else needed to teach 180 days of English 9 or English 10 at a deeply discounted price, click here to learn more about the full-year curriculum download.

Thanks for stopping by!

Cover image credit: Pixabay, Public domain

Total Pages
6-page PDF + Google Drive version of handouts (uneditable)
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 days
Report this resource to TPT
Reported resources will be reviewed by our team. Report this resource to let us know if this resource violates TPT’s content guidelines.


to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise.
Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment (e.g., Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts” and Breughel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus).
By the end of grade 9, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 9-10 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of the grades 9-10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.
Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source text.


Questions & Answers


TPT empowers educators to teach at their best.

More About Us

Keep in Touch!

Sign Up