Do you ever find yourself in-between units with a couple of unplanned lessons to fill? Are you looking for something MEANINGFUL & RELEVANT for upper high school students?
This transitional activity is a high-interest mix of poetry, video, roads, and cars examining Whitman’s “Song of the Open Road” and comparing it with Volvo’s television ad using the same poem. The activity finishes with an opportunity for students to delve into the relationship between the arts and commerce with a creative copywriting task. CCSS-aligned.
Set to span 2 lessons, this activity includes the text for the 4 parts of the poem under consideration & is conveniently divided into 3 parts:
1. “Song of the Open Road” mini-analysis:
a focused annotation of the 4 parts of the poem from which the ad draws its text – parts 1, 2, 5, & 6 – along with the identification of key ideas and additional attention to the 17 specific lines that the ad actually uses.
2. Volvo’s tv ad “Song of the Open Road” comparative analysis:
a focused viewing of the Volvo ad with a comparison of the ad’s key images to the poem’s key ideas, along with a brief analysis of the effectiveness of the ad’s re-ordering of the poem’s lines.
3. “It’s So Lit!” creative copywriting task:
a fun, relevant, and 21st century task in which students select a product for promotion, promote the product with lines chosen from “Song of the Open Road” along with a chosen image, and then explain their choices in a paragraph-long written explication. Rubric included.
(5 pages, 1 pdf file)
I’ve included detailed keys with sample answers as well as a super-easy, straightforward rubric for the creative copywriting task. (5 pages, 1 pdf file)
4 pages of teaching material
This activity is the first in a larger transitional unit that I’m currently developing, focused on creative and non-fiction writing for the modern world.
Interested in poetry plans or more Whitman? You might like:
Walt Whitman “Song of the Open Road” 5-Day Poetry Mini Unit
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