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This is a single lesson plan over "Death Be Not Proud" by John Donne. In the lesson, students will be walked through several strategies that are useful for tackling difficult texts. By the end, many of them will have a fairly accurate interpretation of the poem even though they've been offered fairly limited scaffolding. They will additionally have practiced some useful reading strategies and will have experienced the necessity of looking up unfamiliar vocabulary.
Three items are included in this packet:
1. The lesson plan with some instructional notes for the teacher.
2. A powerpoint that walks students through each step.
3. A worksheet with several discussion questions to help students to focus on especially important images from the poem.
This lesson works excellently for a day examining the uses of personification, irony, and paradox in poetry. It can also work almost as an introduction to poetry, showing students that reading very difficult poems can be within their reach.
I have, too, used this lesson as a one-off lesson just teaching general reading strategies. The students often find this task to be difficult at first and then rewarding at the end once they've realized that they could understand the poem.