There is no one poem that represents the experience of African Americans in the United States, yet the history of racism in this country is seared deeply into the lives of many African Americans. “The Weakness” by Toi Derricotte recounts an experience with racism through the eyes of a young, light-skinned African American girl going shopping with her grandmother in a department store in 1945. The poems in The African American Experience offer a number of perspectives from African American poets that add a rich complexity to students’ perceptions of African American lives.
Clarifying one’s identity is a process that goes on throughout life. In this poetry lesson, students will read, analyze and discuss Adrienne Rich's “Diving into the Wreck” as part of the complicated process of finding, and defining oneself.
The following unit incorporates multimedia and classroom activities to encourage students to explore and interact with poetry by first writing letters to important historical poets as practice for writing letters to the Academy of American Poets Board of Chancellors, a group that represents poetry in America at its best.
In this lesson, students will explore poetry both visually--through a provided video--and orally--through reading the poem "Gate A-4" by Naomi Shihab Nye aloud. Pre-reading/viewing activity will utilize small group tableaux as a way of physically visualizing issues within the poem. Post reading/viewing tableaux will reflect new ideas based on learning, and an optional essay on community furthers student exploration of empathy.
In this lesson, students will listen to a Native American song (included), view a video (included), and read Joy Harjo's poem, "Remember" in order to evaluate and compare visually, quantitatively, and orally the structures and content of a spoken and written poem to those in a Native American song. Activities include small group work and class discussion.
In this lesson, students will explore poetry through listening and reading the poem "The Great Migration." Pre-reading activity will utilize small group discussion of nuance in vocabulary. Post reading activity will utilize tableaux to reflect new ideas based on learning, and an optional poem or short narrative on community furthers student exploration of empathy.
In this lesson, students will explore poetry both visually--through a provided video--and orally--through reading the poem "Translation for Mama" aloud. Pre-reading/viewing activity will utilize short writing and discussion as a class. Post reading activities involve writing poetry modeled on the poem.
In this poetry session, students learn that shapes don’t have to be silent, and poetry doesn’t have to be linear, as they write shapes in verse, and verse in shapes. This lesson bridges the gap between poetry and math!
This unit contains a series a poetry lessons and poem suggestions on the poetry of war. Students will read and closely analyze several 'poems of war' and write their own poem as a culminating activity.
In this creative activity, students will imagine a scenerio where they have wronged their true love and have 4 lines to convince them to stay. Each student should make careful word choices to write persuasive verse capable of convincing a lost love to reunite. Students will present their arguments in a dramatic way, incorporating music.
Students will read, critically analyze and write about a series of poems dealing with poetry. Students will define poetry in their own terms.
This poetry lesson uses "Manatee/Humanity" to help students develop skills of noticing (seeing, hearing, and feeling) in relationship to poetry.
In this activity, students will read explore both the factual elements of amphibians and the poet's choice to use them as a comparison tool in the poem "Amphibians." Students will discuss and interpret the nuance and meaning of the poem, as well as explore the effectiveness of the metaphor.
In this activity, students will explore "Binsey Poplars" by Gerard Manley Hopkins. A piece of artwork, "Lane with Poplars Near Nuenen Place" by Vincent Van Gogh accompanies this lesson plan, along with guiding questions. Students will work in pairs to evaluate the painting and poem's views of nature and how those viewpoints are conveyed.
In this activity, students will read aloud and discuss Walt Whitman's poem, "I Hear America Singing." A piece of artwork accompanies this lesson plan, along with guiding questions. Students will need to find the central idea and interpret the nuance and meaning of the poem.