The Raven - a lesson in comprehension, annotation, and poetic devices

The Raven -  a lesson in comprehension, annotation, and poetic devices
The Raven -  a lesson in comprehension, annotation, and poetic devices
The Raven -  a lesson in comprehension, annotation, and poetic devices
The Raven -  a lesson in comprehension, annotation, and poetic devices
The Raven -  a lesson in comprehension, annotation, and poetic devices
The Raven -  a lesson in comprehension, annotation, and poetic devices
The Raven -  a lesson in comprehension, annotation, and poetic devices
The Raven -  a lesson in comprehension, annotation, and poetic devices
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Common Core Standards
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193 KB|8 pages
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STUDENT AND TEACHER VERSIONS INCLUDED. This is an 8-page document that includes an annotation friendly version of Edgar Allan Poe's poem. Free versions of this public domain text are readily available in many locations, but this particular document gives students space to annotate along the margins. The first 4 pages are the student no-prep printable version. The last 4 pages are the TEACHER COPY and key (all highlighting and annotations are DONE.)

If you would like The Raven vocabulary quiz that corresponds with the bolded words in the document, you can locate that item HERE!

In order to enact this lesson, you will need your students to have at least 3 (preferably 4) different color highlighters.

I am a huge proponent of highlighting and annotating, and I try to have students interacting with the text as much as possible. Instead of answering a bunch of questions after they finish reading the poem, I prefer to have students work through the poem in a hands-on, interactive way. Just answering questions is boring. You'll be surprised how much more time annotating the poem takes, but in the end, the students will have a deeper understanding, will have done more work, and they won't even have realized it! It's amazing how adding highlighters is such a game changer.

Reading "The Raven" once or twice rarely gives students a true understanding of the story within this narrative poem and how the speaker's interaction with the raven changes drastically from beginning to end.

I generally begin this poem study by first, reading the poem, second, showing students The Simpson's Treehouse of Horror visual version of the poem, and last, having students read through the poem to highlight/annotate: (1) the plot of the narrative poem, (2) rhyme scheme, (3) internal rhyme, (4) alliteration, (5) onomatopoeia, and (6) allusions.

Generally, I model the first 4 stanzas with the students and allow them to annotate the remainder of the poem alone or with a partner.

The goal shouldn't necessarily be for students to identify every single instance of alliteration (if they miss one example, who cares?!). Rather, this exercise should train them to be more cognizant of the use of these poetic devices, so in the future, they can analyze poetry more deeply on their own.

Once you feel students are comfortable analyzing a poem like The Raven as practice, I would use one or both of the following poetry assessments to see how well students can analyze poetry independently:

The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls Poetry Analysis Assessment
Paul Revere's Ride Poetry Analysis Assessment
Total Pages
8 pages
Answer Key
Included
Teaching Duration
3 days
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