Let America Be America Again Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan will help students analyze the author's tone and point of view about what America represents as they read 'Let America be America Again' by Langston Hughes.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Analyze the author's word choices and their impact on the tone of the poem: Let America be America Again by Langston Hughes
  • Compare the author's view of America to an idealistic America


60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.


Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints.


  • copies of 'Let America Be America Again'
  • highlighters
  • pens
  • paper
  • dictionaries
  • chart paper
  • markers

Reading & Discussion Questions

  • As a warm up, read Hughes' Let America Be America Again: Analysis and Meaning as a class.
  • After the section, 'Equality in America,' discuss:
    • How did college students in the 1960s protest 'whites only' lunch counters?
    • When was 'Let America Be America Again' written and why?
  • After reading the rest of the lesson, discuss:
    • What did the poet mean when he wrote, 'America was never America?'
    • Compare the poet's view of America to American ideals.
    • How does the poet use repetition to make a statement?
    • Who are the people the poet represents by using the pronoun 'I'?
    • What is the author's definition of free?
    • What is the tone of the poem?
  • Ask if there are any questions, then give the students the lesson's printable worksheet to assess their understanding of the lesson.
  • Check the answers as a class.


Analyzing Word Choice

Materials: copies of 'Let America be America Again' by Langston Hughes, highlighters, dictionaries, pens, paper

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