Prose Lesson Plan

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

With this lesson plan, your students are going to learn about prose. They will learn to define it, distinguish it from poetry, and practice writing it in diverse forms.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Define prose and its role in writing
  • Appreciate the diverse genres and styles of prose
  • Demonstrate the ability to write in various styles of prose


90-120 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.


Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1-3 above.)


Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.


  • Technology to view video lesson
  • Printed copies of lesson quiz
  • Genres and styles of prose written on little slips of paper
  • Hat


  • Begin class by asking students to define poetry.
    • What makes something poetry, and by extension, what makes something else not poetry?
  • Begin the video lesson Glossary of Literary Terms: Prose. Have students take notes on the different terms and important information found in the video.
  • Pause the video at 0:50 and discuss this information as a class.
    • What is prose?
    • What isn't prose?
    • If prose is defined as not being poetry, then what can it not have?
  • Pause the video at 5:55, discuss:
    • What defines poetry versus prose?
    • What is the role of narrative in prose?
    • What is the role of characters?
    • What is the general outline or direction of a piece of prose?
  • Resume and complete video.
  • Write the words subtext, imagery, metaphor, allegory, allusions, and archetypes on the board. Ask students to define these. Ask them to shout out examples of these ideas they've see in literature they've read on their own. Discuss this information as a class.
    • How do authors create enticing prose without creating poetry?
    • How can prose build on these ideas, as well as motifs, atmosphere, tone, and tropes, without crossing into poetry?
    • How do different genres of prose handle these ideas?
  • Ask if there are any questions before moving on.
  • You may test student understanding with the lesson quiz.
  • Go over the quiz as a class.

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