This is a great poetry lesson, especially for students who think poetry is inaccessible. The poem is easy to understand and has vignettes within it that make it feel more like prose than poetry. It is a commentary on society and the nature of morality, so it also engages students and causes them to think about issues beyond their own lives. The author’s use of color symbolism is also easy to understand, and this lesson gives students an opportunity to use color symbolism in their own writing.
The lesson includes a small group activity to get students thinking and talking about color symbolism, an individual free writing assignment, questions for class discussion that can be used independently or in pairs or small groups, and two creative writing assignments with rubrics that can be used for assessment.