Lesson Plan

Emily Meets Maya: Poetry Analysis

This lesson is designed for fostering a cross-textual analysis of literary works.
N D.
Classroom teacher
Florence Freshman Center
Florence, United States
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Students will be able to identify the mood, tone, and impact of word choice on the mood and tone of the text. -(RL.9-10.4 Craft and Structure) 

Students should be able to articulate similarities and differences between the structure, author's style and approach to similar themes and ideas... -(RL.9-10.5 Craft and Structure) 


English Language Arts
Grades 8 – 10
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 The Hook: Edmodo "Back-Channel" Discussion

Students will respond to teacher post:

"Name two symbols (nonlinguistic) that come to mind when you hear the word hope. Explain why you have chosen the symbols." 

After all students have entered their responses, the class will share and discuss responses. (Undoubtedly, many students will mention a "bird" as a symbol for hope. This question will direct students towards thinking and looking and words symbolically and metaphorically, which will lin turn lead into our reading the texts closely, looking for connotations and denotations... "How is the bird in Angelou's poem different/similar to the bird in Dickinson's poem?")

-After discussion, show video clip "I Am Home" from the motion picture Freedom Writers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f8liieRepk&app=desktop (If you're on a desktop, use this site: http://www.wingclips.com/movie-clips/freedom-writers/i-am-home?play=1 )

2 Direct Instruction: Meet the Text

1. Students will be given time to read closely and examine the two poems independently.

2. Students should use the appropriate note-taking app to make brief notes on literary elements from prior learning or question and insights they can bring to the whole group discussion of the poems.

3 Guided Practice

Students will work in pairs (or groups of threes) to compare and contrast similarities and differences in the use of word choice by both poets. Their thinking will be reflected through the creation of a graphic organizer using the Mindomo iPad app. Students should be sure that the organizer demonstrates the use of words and phrases that reflect connotations and denotations, which should in turn help them to justify their conclusions about the central idea and motivation of each poet. 


4 Wrap-Up: Student Presentations

Activity: Presenting
  • Students will present their Mindomo graphic organizers (in presentation mode) before their peers.
  • Presentations should reflect a thorough understanding of how word choice and word meanings impact an author's tone and motivation.
  • Students should be able to articulate key similarities and differences between the two text exemplars.
  • Students should post a screenshot of their graphic organizers to their class Edmodo for sharing and referencing.

5 Independent Practice

Students will extend practice of identifying tone through word choice by taking a mini-quiz in Edmodo with smaller excerpts from other poems. Students should also write, or be prepared to articulate their choices within the quiz.