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This bundle for Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" contains materials that will help you introduce the text, support the students' reading, and provide cumulative assignments.
The background PowerPoint includes:
- Explanation of the phrase "an albatross around your neck" (which originates from the poem) and examples of it appearing in pop culture
- Plot overview
- Information about how the poem could be viewed as an adventure story, a ghost story, or a spiritual parable
- The historical context of the poem
The reading questions include:
- 30 plot questions
- A graphic organizer that helps students analyze how the poem meets the ideals of British Romanticism
- An answer key
There are three cumulative activities included (descriptions follow). Choose the assignment depending on the level of the class and your timeframe.
The "Create Your Own SparkNotes" assignment includes prompts for students to:
- Note facts about Coleridge and/or the context for the poem
- Provide a summary of each of the seven sections in the poem
- Analyze the major characters
- Analyze the major themes
- Analyze the motifs and symbols
- Provide and explain notable quotations
The Literary Merit assignment works best with Honors and AP students. Some people love the poem's intense imagery and supernatural elements, while others argue that the poem lacks substance. This assignment requires students to analyze the literary merit of "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." The assignment includes:
- A prompt for students to first brainstorm their own list of criteria for "literary merit"
- A three-page packet for students to analyze how well the poem meets some common criteria for literary merit (and they can substitute their own criteria if desired)
- William Wordsworth's criticism of the poem, to use in a wrap-up discussion
The "Views of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner" assignment requires students to analyze the poem through different lenses. It works well for middle- and low-track students. This file contains three worksheets:
- A sheet to analyze the poem as an adventure story
- A sheet to analyze the poem as a horror story
- A sheet to analyze the poem as a spiritual parable
I created two groups for each lens and had them share and compare their ideas with the whole class.