Do you want to empower your students with the skills they need to read, analyze, and write independently about challenging poetry?
The method that students will learn in these lessons is to unpack a poem using a graphic organizer and to understand the elements of poetry by writing some poetry themselves. After sixteen years of teaching students to read poetry, I have found that these are the most practical and accessible ways for students to understand how a poet’s choices help to create meaning.
When you teach your students to understand poetry with the lessons included in this resource you will:
• have a practical scaffolding that you can use with any poem
• give your classes the tools to read poetry on their own
• show your students that anyone can read, understand, and enjoy poetry
• engage in fascinating discussions on big ideas and important questions
• push your classes to strengthen their critical thinking and writing skills
• have fun writing poetry with your students and allowing them to play with language
• utilize rubrics for quick efficient grading
• empower your students with the confidence to think for themselves
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.
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.
Texts covered in this resource include the following.
“[Much Madness is Divinest Sense]” by Emily Dickinson
“[This is My Letter to the World]” by Emily Dickinson
“When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer," by Walt Whitman