Remember the first time you taught a poem to your high school English class? If you’re like me, it went something like this:
Me: Read poem (30 seconds) followed by an open-ended question, something like “What do you think of this poem?” followed by 30 seconds of silence.
Me (in a frustrated tone): Doesn’t anyone have any thing to say about this poem?
Smarta$$ Student (hand raised in the air): No.
End of Lesson.
48 minutes of busy work mixed with chaos.
A few poemless years later, I created poetry lesson plans using popular poems taught in high school. I’ll share a few with you before I get to my list of poems.
- Poetry Analysis and Annotation with Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” This forms the foundation for analyzing poetry.
- Speed Poetry Analysis with Any Poem. Best taught after students have a basic understanding on how to analyze and annotate a poem.
- Sound Devices in Poetry (PDF download).