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- Want to be done planning your ELA curriculum for the rest of your career?It’s so challenging to figure out yearly plans. Deciding on the best time to schedule assessments, slogging through multiple texts, trying to come up with activities and questions so that your classes aren’t bored all while you$184.56$369.12Save $184.56
Want your students to have fun and work independently at the end of the year without sacrificing rigor?
After a full year of analyzing literature from different times, it’s great to wrap it all up with a unit on poets who are writing about the world we live in today. Students often believe that literature is something that exists for another time and another place, but with these pieces, they’ll learn how relevant poetry is to their own lives. All of these poems are by respected, well-known poets who are challenging, questioning, and inspiring readers today.
The 19 poems included in this unit come with ready-to-go questions to help students work through a close reading of the pieces and to think about the bigger ideas of the texts. These are poems that I have taught to all levels of classes for many years—they are student and teacher approved!
The variety of materials, real-life connections, and innovative approaches to the information will keep students engaged and excited about learning. Additionally, the concrete text-based questions and unique sources discourage cheating and encourage students to answer for themselves.
And you won’t have to work so hard at the end of a busy year.
When you teach contemporary poetry with these lessons you will:
- strengthen your students’ close reading skills by giving them the scaffolding they need to unpack the texts with focused handouts
- have lots of fun with the unique creative writing activities
- add rigor to your lesson plans by inspiring your students to think critically with the ready-to-go handouts, writing prompts, and activities
- easily teach the unit with Google Classroom using the ready-to-go instructions, links, handouts, and forms
- encourage different learning styles with group work, close reading, and dynamic discussions
- help your students to more fully comprehend challenging literary concepts such as enjambment, syntax, diction, and other poetic devices with the unique close reading activities
- conquer your students’ fear of poetry by getting them to experiment with their own poetry writing
- quickly and easily grade the assessments using the provided rubric
I’ve included all of the most modern and relevant poems from my individual lessons in this resource. Click on the links below to see previews for the full-priced plans.
*Units that have been updated for teaching online with Google Classroom.
*Poetry Unit: Poetry Activities | Literary Devices | Poetry Writing | Handouts includes handouts and lesson plans that will empower your student to understand the elements of poetry and how they function to create meaning in a poem. Now included in this resource are a ready-to-go quiz, a jigsaw activity for teaching the content, and an alternative poster project for teaching the content including a rubric to grade the project. You can view the full-priced lesson by clicking .
*“Siren Song” by Margaret Atwood, which takes a new view on the Sirens that call to Odysseus, takes a fun and fascinating twist in the end. It’s also a good poem for teaching students not to overestimate their understanding of the themes of poetry. You can view the full-priced lesson on this poem by clicking .
*“Half-Hanged Mary” by Margaret Atwood is based on the true story of Mary Webster who was probably one of Margaret Atwood’s ancestors.A modern feminist retelling of the Salem Witch Hunts of the Puritan period, this contemporary poem by Margaret Atwood is a great choice for teaching poetic devices as well as for exploring some of the major themes of American Literature. You can view the full-priced lesson on this poem by clicking .
“The Island Within” by Richard Blanco is a poem about the immigration experience. Studying this poem will help your students to gain perspective and empathy for people whose lives are likely very different from their own. You can view the full-priced lesson that features this poem by clicking .
*“Hanging Fire” by Audre Lorde is a super popular poem with my students; it deals with themes ranging from teenage girls’ worries and anxieties to race to the family. You can view the full-priced lesson on this poem by clicking .
“Mama,” “Head Over Heals,” and “You Have a Big Imagination or 400,000 Ways to Cry” by Emtithal Mahmoud are all fabulous spoken-word poems. Mahmoud is an award-winning poet, an activist, and a survivor of the genocide in Darfur. She is also the winner of the 2015 Individual World Poetry Slam championship and a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. Her poetry is raw, angry, and challenging at times, it is also fresh, moving, and powerful. You can view the full-priced lesson that features this poem by clicking .
“Elena” and “La Migra” by Pat Mora are accessible and powerful poems about immigration; they also deal with themes of family, power, and language. You can view the full-priced lesson on these poems by clicking .
*“The Victims” by Sharon Olds is about a woman’s changing perspective on her parents marriage and divorce. You can view the full-priced lesson on this poem by clicking here.
*“The Birthday of the World” by Marge Piercy is a compelling poem that will get your students thinking about how they can spark a change in their own worlds. You can view the full-priced lesson on this poem by clicking .
*“Diving into the Wreck” by Adrienne Rich is an engaging poem about self-exploration, dealing with the past, the scars of trauma, and the process of turning pain into art. You can view the full-priced lesson on this poem by clicking here.
“Prospective Immigrants: Please Note” by Adrienne Rich deals with themes of immigration, and portrays the uncertainty and ambiguities of the choices people are often forced to make. You can view the full-priced lesson that features this poem by clicking here.
“My Uncle’s Favorite Coffee Shop” by Naomi Shihab Nye deals with the pain of missing home which is a universal experience, but for immigrants, that feeling is especially powerful. Additionally, defining home when you no longer live where you were born or where you grow up can be tricky. You can view the full-priced lesson that features this poem by clicking .
“2000 lbs.,” “Hurt Locker,” and “Eulogy” by Briar Turner are vivid poems about the author’s experiences in the Iraq war. This lesson incorporates online videos of Turner himself reading and introducing the poems, which make the experience even more relevant for students. You can view the full-priced lesson on this poem by clicking here.
*“The Writer” by Richard Wilbur is subtle and complex and nuanced. This story of the speaker watching and his daughter struggle to write her own work is a great choice for teaching the importance of hard work and determination. You can view the full-priced lesson that features this poem by clicking here.
* "Busted Boy" by Simon Ortiz tells the story of a Native American who witnesses a Black boy get arrested at a bus station, Simon Ortiz’s powerful and accessible poem is a wonderful choice for discussing themes of race, power, and the American experience. You can view the full-priced lesson on this poem by clicking here.
Take a break from being the center of the class but don’t stop challenging your students to think, discuss, write, and read.