Valentine's Day Poetry Analysis and Close Reading "This Year's Valentine"

Rated 5 out of 5, based on 3 reviews
3 Ratings
Secondary Strategies
Grade Levels
10th - 12th, Homeschool
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
17 total: 7 Student Pages, 6 Answer Key pages; 2 Teacher's Guide and Binder Cover
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What educators are saying

This was a wonderful and engaging resource that made my students think deeply about the many meanings of poetry


Finally! - A Valentine's Poem that's not mushy! "This Year's Valentine" contains vivid description, ample images, and excellent alliteration. As they work with the poem, students practice their close reading and poetry analysis skills. Your teenage students will appreciate the lack of over-the-top romance that they sometimes find in other Valentine's Day or love poetry. You will appreciate that this poem balances romance with a purposeful, real-life experience, and you'll love teaching it, too, because students understand the poem, they are engaged the entire time, they willingly share their feelings about the poem and its contents.

More good news!

NO PREP! - except for downloading the poem and copying handouts for your students.

The poem has an interesting backstory: In 2003 as American forces prepared to invade Iraq, poets began a resistance movement using poetry as their weapon. The Poets Against The War website was inundated with contributions from around the world, and before long, 13,000 poems filled its pages. Philip Appleman supported the resistance movement and his poem "This Year's Valentine" neatly fit a major theme of the month of the buildup: Valentine’s Day. This poem, despite its surprising content, is a joy to teach since students find the descriptions and stark contrasts refreshing, and, as one of my teen students put it, “Not that typical overly mushy love stuff that makes me want to gag.” (Students are so brutally honest, aren't they?) Additionally, the poem allows you to show students that creative voices have the capability to produce unity among those who support a common cause and that those combined voices can, perhaps, effect change.

What's Included

• Teacher's Guide: Thorough, 2 pages; includes a link to the poem that you will need to download - Easy to do!

• Close reading and Poetry Analysis handouts for students - 4 pages

• Constructed Response

• Objective Summary

• Complete Answer Keys!

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Thank you for shopping at Secondary Strategies! Resources designed to save your sanity, save you time, and make teaching fun! ❤️

Total Pages
17 total: 7 Student Pages, 6 Answer Key pages; 2 Teacher's Guide and Binder Cover
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
45 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).
Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise.
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.


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