New Year 2021 | Close Reading and Poetry Analysis | Print and Google Slides

Grade Levels
8th - 11th, Homeschool
Resource Type
Formats Included
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11 pages
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Redesigned to make your life easier! Now with Google SlidesTM!

Use this activity for a new calendar year or a new school year. Ideal for Back to School or welcoming the new year. The poem “Burning the Old Year” hooks students by first asking them to think of their own lives—and what they would burn from the past year if they could—before they begin closely reading the poem stanza-by-stanza and analyzing it as they annotate. Hits Common Core standards and engages students at the same time. Great for anytime during the year when you want to usher in a new beginning.

Note: This activity is based on the poem "Burning the Old Year" by Naomi Shihab Nye. The link to the poem is included in the teacher instructions.

What’s included:

1. Activities that are aligned to Common Core Standards:

*RL. 9 -10.1; 11-12.1: Textual evidence, inference

*RL. 9-10.4; 11-12.4: Meaning of words and phrases

*RL. 11-12.5: Author’s choices re: structure

*W. 9-10.1; 11-12.1: Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of text

2. Two short answer responses

3. 17 close reading questions and tasks, carefully designed to help students focus on what’s important in each stanza. Your students will circle, box, underline and/or comment on in the margin on specific words, phrases, and lines in the poem.

4. Objective Summary with sample response

5. Constructed Response inference question with sample response

6. Answer Keys for Questions/Tasks, Objective Summary, and Constructed Response!—All of the prep work has been done so that you can just print and teach!

7. Two different links to the poem (from two credible websites. Each has a slightly different format. You choose which one you prefer.) Students can easily access the poem online, or you can print it out for them.

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Keywords: New Years activities, Ring in the New Year, Happy New Year, Back to School, New Semester, close reading, poetry analysis

Total Pages
11 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
45 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful.
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.


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