Questions for close reading on Robert Frost’s iconic poem “The Road Not Taken” will get your students thinking about big ideas and questions that matter, as well as noticing how the smallest details of a poem contribute to meaning.
This poem is one that everyone thinks they know, but they don’t really. It is likely that your students know the title of the poem and the last three lines—which have been quoted in everything from graduation speeches to needlepointed pillows. In fact, the title of the poem has become a short-hand way of describing life choices that don’t follow the norm.
However, when those iconic lines are read in context of the rest of the poem, they actually have quite a different meaning. The speaker says that he was going for a walk in the woods, there were two paths, and they were basically the same. But, he admits, when he tells this story in the future, he will say that he took the road less traveled and that has made all the difference.
Ultimately, your students will realize that this poem is about the lies we tell others and ourselves in order to add meaning and depth to our decisions in life.