"The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" is a great poem. It's a way to understand theme as well as review literary devices and how they are used. However, first students really need to understand what each stanza is trying to say.
This sets up students to watch you interpret and understand a stanza. Then as a class you can break down new words and create your own version of a stanza. Finally students can break down new stanzas and make their own with similar meanings.
At the end, they should not only understand the theme, and be able to apply it to their own lives, but they should also be able to identify similar themes when other students express them.
The stanzas used here are Fitzgerald's translations (available online). Specifically, I use the stanzas found in their Glencoe World Literature book, but it can be done without textbook access.
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NonFiction Text perfect for pairing with The Rubaiyat
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