Looking for a powerful poetry lesson to get your students thinking about inspiration and artistic creation?
Coleridge claims to have written “Kubla Kahn” after waking up from an opium dream. Whether or not that story is true makes for an interesting discussion. The influence of drugs on creation is definitely a theme about which teenagers have an opinion, and so students are engaged in this lesson right from the start. While Coleridge claims that this poem was a result of his drug use, after a discussion, students will come to the realization that artists might tell a story about how their work was inspired because it helps sell the work better or because they are afraid of exposing themselves to criticism.
When you teach Coleridge’s famous poem with this proven resource you will:
• conquer your students’ fear of writing by using the provided prompts
• push your classes to question what they read by teaching them to think critically about the text
• challenge your students to complete a close reading of a non-fiction text
• help the most reluctant learners find success by scaffolding the questions
• fulfill common core requirements for literature, writing, and speaking
• quickly and easily prepare this lesson with the no-prep handouts
• help your students to discover a fascinating and bizarre poem that they’ll remember and refer back to throughout the year
Strong>Pairings: This poem could be taught with any texts that deal with madness, creativity, drugs or alcohol, Romanticism, inspiration, or fantasy. Suggestions include Frankenstein, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, Hamlet, Medea, The Things They Carried, stories and poems of Edgar Allen Poe, or other Romantic poets such as Wordsworth, Blake, Byron, or Shelley.