“Twas the Night Before Christmas,” a timeless classic written by Clement C. Moore, provides a perfect opportunity to teach structure and simile used in poetry.
• A17-slide animated PowerPoint presentation
• Teachers Notes that explain how to use each slide, as well as possible extensions
• “Twas the Night Before Christmas” hard copy
• Similes worksheet
• Links to audio-visual file of original book and Moore biography
Part 1: Poem is read orally (displayed stanza by stanza in PowerPoint presentation).
Part 2: Teacher guides students in the exploration of the structure of poetry, including verse, stanza, rhythm, meter, and rhyme. The first stanza is displayed to show examples of rhythm, meter, and rhyme; students may then find them using additional stanzas.
Part 3: The class explores simile. Examples from two stanzas are shown in the PowerPoint. A corresponding worksheet asks students to find examples of simile, list the two things are being compared, and determine what the comparison tells the audience.
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Note: This poem is in the public domain and can be reproduced freely.