Looking for poems to explore the American experience on a deeper level?
While Walt Whitman's poem "I Hear America Singing" is joyful and celebratory, Langston Hughes' poem is more questioning of America's history--though it too is not without hope. Exploring themes of class, race, privilege, and point of view, these two poems are well worth examination.
When you teach these timeless and important poems with this unit you will:
Pairings: These poems could be used with many texts that deal with the American Dream, race, power, or class. Suggestions include: To Kill A Mockingbird, Their Eyes were Watching God, Death of a Salesman, The Great Gatsby, Invisible Man, A Raisin in the Sun, The Grapes of Wrath, and Of Mice and Men.
There are no lectures or power points here—students will do the work themselves, with guidance from you. Rather than telling them what the poem means, you will be empowering them with the confidence and skills to tackle a challenging text on their own.
"This was a wonderful pairing. I knew I wanted to teach these two poems together, but was unsure how to do so. This lesson was great because the comprehension questions helped to link the two poems together."--Laken D.