Have you been longing to present one of Whitman’s longer poems? And at the same time connect to your students’ modern perspectives? This 4-lesson pack looks at “Song of the Open Road” as a central cultural artifact in the American motif of ‘the open road’. A multi-media extravaganza that includes high-interest readings and videos, this plan is perfect for upper high school classes. CCSS-aligned.
This 4-lesson package is ready-to-go & has everything you need: a daily calendar; the texts for each of the 4 parts of the poem & for the supplementary readings; links to videos & lyrics; 4 days of superb plans, including a Whitman-style poetry writing activity; and detailed keys.
4 representative parts of the poem are examined:
“Song of the Open Road” part 1:
includes brief bio info about Whitman, close analysis questions, Route 66 reading & video, prompts to encourage deep-thinking connections between the poem and Route 66, and more. Key included. 5 pages. (1 pdf file)
“Song of the Open Road” part 5:
includes close reading prompts, “Don’t Fence Me In” video & lyrics with inference questions, prompts requiring students to consider the poem and the video and to respond with textual evidence, and more. Key included. 5 pages. (1 pdf file)
“Song of the Open Road” part 12:
includes excerpts from Whitman’s essay “A Backward Glance O’er Travel’d Roads”, annotation prompts to help students understand the content of the excerpts, a focused annotation of the poem, prompts to encourage students to assess how well they think Whitman met the goals he discusses in his essay, and more. Key included. 5 pages. (1 pdf file)
“Song of the Open Road” part 13:
includes close analysis questions, quick write summary prompt for students to reflect on the open road motif, and “Catalogue That!”: a creative writing activity to engage students in creative cataloging to wrap up the poem with high-interest fun. Key included. 4 pages. (1 pdf file)
This 4-lesson package is also part of my Walt Whitman “Song of the Open Road” 5-Day Poetry Mini Unit
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