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"If We Must Die" by Claude McKay Poem of the Week Activity (Distance Learning)

Grade Levels
9th - 12th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • Google Drive™ folder
45 pages
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Made for Google Drive™
This resource can be used by students on Google Drive or Google Classroom. To access this resource, you’ll need to allow TpT to add it to your Google Drive. See our FAQ and Privacy Policy for more information.

Also included in

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Want to expose your students to powerful poetry and teach literary analysis without the overwhelm? This Poem of the Week activity allows you to introduce your virtual or in-person students to a new poem or poet, review literary terms, and practice poetry analysis--all in five, bite-sized steps!

In this "Poem of the Week" for "If We Must Die" by Claude McKay, students analyze thematic ideas, apostrophe, tone, figurative language, and form. (Check out the preview to see each of these steps!)

My "Poem of the Week" activities are designed to introduce students to a new poem every week while breaking down annotating and analyzing practice into bite-size pieces. Each poem has five, short steps that force students to read, reread, analyze, and examine the poem--one step at a time.

You can use these as bell ringers, completing one of the 5 steps each day over the course of a week.

Alternatively, you could choose one day a week to work through the whole poem, step by step.

After, you can choose to give students the included optional extension activity, which asks students to use the poem of the week as a mentor text for their own creative writing.

This resource includes:

  • Teacher's Guide with suggested uses
  • 5-step two-sided "Poem of the Week" worksheet for "If We Must Die" by Claude McKay
    • Printable PDF version
    • Interactive Google Slides version
  • Extension activity worksheet: "Poem of the Week--Write Your Own"
    • Printable PDF version
    • Interactive Google Slides version
  • Answer Key with suggested or possible responses to the "Poem of the Week" worksheet
  • PowerPoint slideshow with author information and slides that walk the viewer through all 5 steps of the "Poem of the Week" resource

The whole resource (with the exception of answer keys) is visible in the preview, so check it out to see if this resource is right for you and your students! No part of this resource is editable, so make sure this resource fits your needs prior to purchase. Please note that the Google version of this activity is similar, but will differ in format a little bit.

Need more poetry? Grab the whole Poem of the Week Bundle or check out these resources:

***This resource consists of NON-EDITABLE PDF and Google files within Google Folder. In order to access your purchase, you will need to give Teachers Pay Teachers access to your Google Drive. Before purchasing, please review the preview to make sure this resource supports your and your students' needs. The whole resource, with the exception of any answer keys, are included in the preview.

Total Pages
45 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 Week
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
Interpret figures of speech (e.g., hyperbole, paradox) in context and analyze their role in the text.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence, paragraph, or text; a word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.


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