Natasha Trethewey’s Repentance: Practice with Poetry and Art

Natasha Trethewey’s Repentance: Practice with Poetry and Art
Natasha Trethewey’s Repentance: Practice with Poetry and Art
Natasha Trethewey’s Repentance: Practice with Poetry and Art
Natasha Trethewey’s Repentance: Practice with Poetry and Art
Natasha Trethewey’s Repentance: Practice with Poetry and Art
Natasha Trethewey’s Repentance: Practice with Poetry and Art
Natasha Trethewey’s Repentance: Practice with Poetry and Art
Natasha Trethewey’s Repentance: Practice with Poetry and Art
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Students learn about the poem, “Repentance”, and Johannes Vermeer's painting “Maid Asleep.”

This lesson encourages students to write a poetry analysis essay.

Students will read, listen to and view supporting video and audio clips while learning the necessary elements to understand the theme of repentance. Students will show mastery of the standards at the end of the lesson through a SIFT Analysis, short paragraph assessments, a Socratic seminar, and a written timed essay scored on an AP English-style rubric.

The central text is the essay is the poem, “Repentance.” The long video used are, “Tim’s Vermeer,” & “Vermeer: Master of Light & The TED TALK, “Why Your Worst Deeds Don’t Define You” by Shaka Senghor. Links to different NPR, New York Times articles and many videos showing the themes of the unit. There is a short paragraph writing opportunity writing as the house cleaner in “Maid Asleep.” The students will be listening to an interview about Johannes Vermeer and on charts provided in the appendix; they will complete the evaluation of ethos, logos, and pathos. There is a lesson on rhetorical situation on The New York Times op-ed, “Should We Forgive the Men Who Assaulted Us?” by Danielle Berrin. The entire lessons act as a building of context for a poetry analysis on the poem and painting.


These five daily lessons fit any Honors Literature class, Pre-AP, American Literature, AP English Language or Literature class to prepare students for AP English Language exams, Common Core extended response assessments, American Literature Course exams, the SAT and ACT essay and critical thinking activities.


There are sources for teaching the Socratic Seminar, as the lessons act as support for the rhetorical analysis. The packet includes complete lessons, Common Core standards, essential and key questions.
Total Pages
24 pages
Answer Key
Rubric only
Teaching Duration
1 Week
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