Walt Whitman "Song of Myself" Video and Poetry Project

Grade Levels
9th - 12th
Formats Included
  • PDF
2 pages
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If you need a FUN way to teach Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself" look no further! This is seriously one of my favorite things I have ever done in my ten years of teaching. Read about this project on my blog in this post titled, "Song of Myself" Video Project Reveals Walt Whitman's Importance Today."

In short, this assignment was inspired by journalist and filmmaker Jennifer Crandall's ground-breaking documentary called Whitman, Alabama. In this award-winning documentary, Crandall invites Alabamans to read a verse from "Song of Myself" as she and her crew do the filming.

The videos are spontaneous, sincere, and captivating!

So.... this assignment asks students to do the same: have a friend, family member or someone else you know (coach, boss, school principal) read their choice of verse from the poem.

Students shared their videos with me, wrote a brief summary or interpretation of the poems, and then we discussed and analyzed them during class. It was so much fun! Such an awesome way to end our study of America's national poet, Walt Whitman.

I know you'll enjoy this activity! Try it and let me know how it goes!

Total Pages
2 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful.
Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source text.
Demonstrate knowledge of eighteenth-, nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century foundational works of American literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics.
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.
Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task.


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