Get your students analyzing poetry and discussing difficult yet important questions with this engaging lesson on two iconic poems.
This poetry lesson teaches close reading and literary analysis by examining two different poems and their views on death, dying, and old age. William Shakespeare's poem Sonnet 73 or "[That Time of Year Thou Mayst In Me Behold]" and Dylan Thomas' poem "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" offer two very different views.
When they complete this lesson, your students will:
—engage in close reading of two challenging yet accessible poems
—discuss important ideas
—freewrite on engaging prompts
—write a longer essay on the two poems
—clarify their own views on a tricky topic
While either poem could easily be taught on its own, teaching them together will make for an interesting discussion as well as a more complete view of this theme.
Because of copyright restrictions, the Thomas poem is not included in the handout.
The sonnet makes a great introduction to Shakespeare and could be taught before students start any other Shakespeare play that will be studied in class.
The two poems together could also be paired with texts that deal with old age, death, or love such as Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, MacBeth, Death of a Salesman, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, King Lear, or Things Fall Apart.
This handout of thorough and precise questions is ready to go with minimal prep on the part of the teacher.