Teach your students how to analyze poetry by truly understanding poetic elements and how they function in works of literature.
Then, get them exploring, discussing, and writing about the bigger themes of American Literature such as materialism, love, race, family dynamics, class, immigration, language, tradition, the search for the self and the American dream. Poetry spans from the Puritan times to today.
Most importantly, by engaging them in the diverse experiences of this country, you will help your students to feel empathy for those who struggle for the American Dream.
This bundle includes enough for over three weeks of lessons, including two different options for ending assessments. Every lesson includes:
—questions for close reading and literary analysis
—suggestions for quick-writes
—questions to get students discussing and thinking about the big ideas
No lectures, no power points—this is all student-centered, rigorous analysis of poems.
From the Elements of Poetry handout, which explains not just how to identify poetic elements but how they function in a text, to the questions that focus students on specific elements and how they work in the poems, every poetic element is covered with this bundle.
Products included in this bundle:
Elements of Poetry
— a practical introduction of poetry elements and devices for students. You can view the individual resource by clicking here
Introducing Poetry Interpretation with Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman
—a step-by-step guide to interpreting and analyzing poetry using graphic organizers; poems, explanations, graphic organizers, discussion questions, and answer keys are all included. You can view the individual resource by clicking here
Poetry Lesson on Anne Bradstreet and the Puritan World View
—questions for close reading and literary analysis on two poems by Anne Bradstreet introduce the themes of the unit by asking students to think about materialism, love, and the afterlife. You can view the individual resource by clicking here
Poetry Lesson Comparing the American Experience in Whitman and Hughes
—a lesson focusing on two classic poems, these handouts will get students questioning and thinking about the greatness of America. You can view the individual resource by clicking here
Poetry Lesson on "Let America Be America Again," Langston Hughes
—Langston Hughes is a favorite among students, and this poem is one that they rarely forget; dealing with themes of the American Dream and especially the people to whom that dream is not always a reality, this poem is impactful. You can view the individual resource by clicking here
Class, Money, and Dreams: The Pursuit of Happiness and the American Dream
—two poems that offer unique perspectives on dreams, class, and happiness; often paired with The Great Gatsby, the poems included in this lesson are accessible to most levels. You can view the individual resource by clicking here
Poetry Lessons: Tradition, Consumerism, and the Search for the Self
—these two poems in many ways epitomize the struggles of mid-20th-century America; dealing with themes of class, gender, and consumerism, this lesson will get students analyzing challenging poetry and thinking about how the structure of a poem helps create meaning. You can view the individual resource by clicking here
Poetry Lesson on Divorce and Family Dynamics in "The Victims" by Sharon Olds
—taking it to a more personal level, this poem deals with how class and gender affect the family dynamic; this poem is another favorite with students, whatever their family dynamic. You can view the individual resource by clicking here
Immigration, Language, and The American Dream: Two Poems by Pat Mora
—these two poems are easy for students to read, but they are also deceptive in their simplicity; dealing with themes of power, class, violence, communication, the family, and immigration, they are impactful poems that will get students questioning their own assumptions and beliefs. You can view the individual resource by clicking here
Poetry Lesson on Immigration and the American Dream: Two Poems, Two Views
—immigration is a complicated issue, and with these two poems, students will explore the different expectations and ambiguities of the immigrant experience. You can view the individual resource by clicking here
The American Dream is a big topic—there are no easy answers and no simple explanations. But when students explore a large variety of experiences, they will begin to understand the problems, variety, and greatness of this country.