These poetry lesson plans will enable you to teach your students how to read poetry. By the end of this seven-day unit, your high school students will have the skills and strategies that they need to read, analyze, and write about poetry independently.
Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman are often seen as the founders of modern American poetry, so why not start teach your students to read, analyze, and write about poetry by studying their work?
The method that students will learn in these lessons is to unpack a poem using a graphic organizer. After sixteen years of teaching students to read poetry, I have found that this is the most practical and accessible way for students to understand how a poet’s choices help to create meaning. Additionally, by playing with poetry writing themselves, and creating original poems based on their own experiences, students will understand the elements of poetry from the inside out.
Everything here is ready to go, and complete handouts, questions, answer keys, and rubrics for two different final assessments are provided for each step of the way. The elements of poetry handouts and the graphic organizers will allow you to teach these lessons tomorrow, with minimal prep.
You will love these lessons because you will empower your students with the tools to think for themselves. Your students will love these lessons because the engaging poems will spark fascinating discussions and the scaffolded creative writing exercises will show them that poetry writing is for everyone.
Table of Contents:
Lesson plan and unit schedule
Elements of Poetry Handout
Poetry Writing Exercises
How to Read a Poem, Handout
Blank Graphic Organizer of “[Much Madness],” Handout
Completed Graphic Organizer/Answer Key of “[Much Madness]”
Ending Discussion Questions, “[Much Madness]”
Blank Graphic Organizer, “[This is My Letter],” Handout
Completed Graphic Organizer, “[This is My Letter]”; Ending Discussion
Blank Graphic Organizer, “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer," Handout
Completed Graphic Organizer of “When I Heard…”; Ending Discussion
Two Final Assessments
How to Write An Essay On Poetry, Handout
Literary Analysis Rubric
Original Poem Rubric
"I love how this is very step-by-step yet allows for interpretation. I find poetry challenging to teach and this is a great way to break it down. Thank you!"--Hope S.