This lesson is inspired by Denise Clark’s work with her senior English students at Vancouver Technical Secondary School in Vancouver, British Columbia.
People often write about what they know best, and in many cases, writers give us insight into their own worlds through their poetry. This lesson aims to have students use questioning to explore the theme of identity in poetry. Students will see that they can connect their own personal experiences, passions, and questions about identity in order to better understand and respond to poetry, and to eventually write poems themselves.
In this lesson, students will have opportunities to:
- Read, discuss, and respond to poems.
- Visualize and reflect on elements of their own identities to better understand poetry.
- Deepen their ability to question texts.
- Work individually and in groups to extend their understanding of texts.
To teach this lesson, you will need:
- Suggested poems from the Poetry In Voice anthology:
“Danse Russe” by William Carlos Williams
“Introduction to Poetry” by Billy Collins
“Plenty” by Kevin Connolly
“Richard Cory” by Edwin Arlington Robinson
“Saguaro” by Brenda Hillman
“Self-Portrait” by Robert Creeley
“The New Experience” by Suzanne Buffam
“The Powwow at the End of the World” by Sherman Alexie
- Paper: 8.5x11 inches and poster size
- Enlarged copies of three to four poems for group work