“Invictus” by William Ernest Henley: Poetry Close Reading and Guided Response

“Invictus” by William Ernest Henley: Poetry Close Reading and Guided Response
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Lesson Title:

“Invictus” by William Ernest Henley: Poetry Close Reading and Guided Response

What’s Behind the Lesson:

Throughout the week I like to spark-up the class with a good poem reading and discussion. Here is the classic poem about feeling victorious and unconquerable by William Ernest Henley.


Read aloud to your students and ask them to show their thinking with this Guided Response. Teach this poem along other poems by the same author, of the same genre, or of similar theme.


I read at least three poems a week with my students. Poetry is a reliable in the classroom. Poetry is a great topic starter, writing prompt, and opportunity to have wonderful conversation with students. In addition, poetry:


gives opportunity for guided practice in note taking and annotation

  • builds capacity with a large number of pieces covered in a short period of time
  • gives excellent practice in identifying literary devices and different forms
  • provides practice in close reading of dense texts, looking for depth of meaning and theme.



Total Pages
2 pages
Answer Key
N/A
Teaching Duration
30 minutes
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