Poetry Bundle: 20 Short Poems to Teach Rhetorical Relationships & Explication

Bespoke ELA
Grade Levels
8th - 12th, Higher Education, Homeschool
Formats Included
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Bespoke ELA


This product by Bespoke ELA contains 20 short poems to analyze for the four, basic rhetorical relationships: juxtaposition, contrast, shift, and repetition. All literary devices can be categorized into these four basic relationships. A simile is a type of juxtaposition; antithesis is a type of repetition and contrast. But instead of focusing on these specific terms, these mini-lessons aim to teach students how to analyze poetry using the terms juxtaposition, contrast, shift, and repetition.

Click here to find an abbreviated Google Slides version of this activity.

For each poem, students will:

1. Make observations.

2. Identify and analyze the four rhetorical relationships.

3. Connect the rhetorical relationships to THEME.

4. Write their own original poems inspired by the model poem.

5. Write an explication of their own original poems.

In this compressed file, you will find two versions of a Power Point (one in .ppt form and one in .pdf form). The Power Point enables you to use these poems as bell ringers and mini-lessons for reading and writing workshops. It also contains a .pdf paper version of the 20 short poems with key questions and an original poetry prompt included.

Students will be inspired by the poetry prompts included for each of the 20 short poems. It's amazing how much depth students can get out of such short poems. They will enjoy the challenge of unlocking the thematic meaning of these poems as well as the process of creating their own original poems.

Students can respond to activities in their journals or Writer's Notebooks and then select a poem to explicate for a formal essay assignment, OR opt to have students complete a portfolio in which they include a series of their own original poems along with explications of them. These mini-lessons come with several flexible options to easily integrate into your curriculum.

This bundle is suitable for grades 8-12.


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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.


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