This lesson is intended as introduction to poetry. The centerpiece of the lesson is Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." Two other connected poems explore the purpose of poetry and the value of analysis. It can be completed in one 45-minute class period or stretched out across two class periods depending on how much time you allow for the introductory activity and whether or not you pursue the connections. If you have the students complete the extension activity, you would need to allow another class period for the presentations.
I teach reluctant readers who are very intimidated by poetry. In order to prepare them for the state assessment test and to help them overcome their fear of poetry, we read poems for "enjoyment" three or four times a week. We discuss the poems, but try to avoid "beating them with a hose" to figure out what they mean. This lesson uses poetry to teach the students that we don't always have to find the "hidden meanings" of a poem to get something out of it.
This lesson plan contains:
--a pre-reading activity to activate prior knowledge about poetry
--links to the three poems
--step-by-step guide to reading and discussing the poems
--a closing activity to connect the poems to the pre-reading activity
--connections for further exploration
--an extension activity
Did you see my new FREE product? Sixty Poetry Analysis Questions to Guide Conversation
. I've used these questions for years to help students become more comfortable talking about (and analyzing) poetry.
Keywords: Robert Frost, Billy Collins, enjoyment of poetry, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" poetry analysis