Poetry Explication Unit - AP Literature

AP Lit and More
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AP Lit and More

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  1. This bundle combines ALL of my poetry resources from my AP Lit full course, plus any additional poetry assessments and lessons that I add in the future. This resource contains: Intro to Poetry Full Unit - This bundle contains my two week poetry unit which introduces students to poetry analysis throu
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One useful exercise for AP English Literature students is learning to explicate a poem. Poetry explications consist of breaking down a poem and analyzing all of its poetic elements to explain its theme and meaning. Two sample explications are included to assist you.

This short unit contains a guide to writing a poetry explication in both powerpoint and handout form, as well as a detailed rubric for grading explications. I've also included handouts for three suggested poems to study:

- "The Black Walnut Tree" by Mary Oliver

- "Musee des Beaux Arts" by W.H. Auden

- "To an Athlete Dying Young" by A.E. Housman

Each file in this resource is available in both PDF and Microsoft Office (Word and PowerPoint) and you are permitted to edit as needed.

By the way, individual poem studies are available for purchase each of these poems, if you wish to go through them as a whole class afterwards. Slideshow notes for these poems are not included in this resource, but can be purchased separately by clicking on the links above.

Total Pages
16 pages
Answer Key
Rubric only
Teaching Duration
1 Week
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
By the end of grade 11, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of the grades 11-CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Analyze a case in which grasping point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement).
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.
Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).


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