Kobe Bryant Dear Basketball Poem — Analysis & Paired Text Michael Jordan Letter

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Chomping at the Lit
Grade Levels
6th - 10th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • Zip
14 pages
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Chomping at the Lit

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My students loved this activity. It was something they could all relate to with great thought provoking questions.
I used this as our intro activity to my poetry unit. It was a great way to engage students from the beginning!
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  1. This resource is a FULL POETRY UNIT for ELA grades: 7th, 8th, or 9th! You will get a collection of different lessons, activities, and projects, plus a TDA essay, digital escape room, and final test! I've also included an example schedule for teachers to follow day-by-day!Included in this middle scho
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Students LOVE reading and analyzing Kobe Bryant's "Dear Basketball" Poem. In this activity, they will complete a Poem Analysis & Compare/Contrast Paired Text Activity. The paired text students will look at is Michael Jordan's 2003 Retirement Letter, also titled "Dear Basketball."

In 2015, Bryant announced his retirement through “Player’s Tribune” in a poem titled “Dear Basketball.” In the poem, Bryant shares his love for the sport with the world. Bryant later earned an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for “Dear Basketball” in 2018.

Included in this lesson:

  • Anticipation Guide
  • "Dear Basketball" poem by Kobe Bryant, analysis and answer key
  • Paired Text Excerpt of Michael Jordan's letter: questions and answer key
  • After Reading Poem — Creative Writing Activity

File Types Included:

Teacher Guide and Answer Key (PDF)

Student Copy of Activities (Word document—editable for teachers)

Student Copy of Activities (PDF—ready to print)

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Total Pages
14 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.
Analyze how a drama’s or poem’s form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning.
Analyze how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text.


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