“Wild Nights – Wild Nights!” A Poem by Emily Dickinson Lesson Plan for National Poetry Month

If your idea of a wild night involves reviewing poetry lesson plans, then get a life. If you need a quick poem that might grab the attention of teenagers and a nifty lesson plan to go with it, get this lesson plan.


We’ll start with something you can download and print–a copy of the poem with an area for annotation on one side, and directions for how to annotate a poem on the other. All you have to do to prepare for the lesson is hand this out and project or write a copy of the poem on the white board.

Let’s Begin

Emily Dickinson Poetry Lesson Plan

This is Emily Dickinson. My 10th grade English teacher loved Emily Dickinson. I did not. I do now. Here are some analyses of Emily Dickinson poems that I wrote. May my 10th grade English teacher rest in peace.

Prepare for the lesson by copying the poem on the board. Here it is.

Wild nights – Wild nights!
Were I with thee
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!
Futile – the winds –
To a Heart in port –
Done with the Compass –
Done with the Chart!
Rowing in Eden –
Ah – the Sea!
Might I but moor – tonight –
In thee!

It’s Time to Annotate

  1. Choose a short poem (15-20 lines). Copy it onto a half-slice of paper and use the other half for writing an analysis.
  2. Write the poem on the board.
  3. Read the poem aloud.
  4. Instruct students to identify the following elements and make notations: rhyme scheme, figurative language, images, symbols, sound devices (alliteration, consonance, assonance, rhythm, onomatopoeia, off rhyme).
  5. Instruct students to circle any part of the poem that stands out, confuses them, or is important.
  6. Write questions in the margin; highlight unusual words; mark phrases that indicate the poem’s meaning.
  7. Determine the poem’s theme and draw arrows to the lines that support the theme.

First-Timer Tips

  1. Emily Dickinson Lesson Plans