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Writing an Elegy Lesson Plan

Instructor: Jason Lineberger

Jason has 20 years of education experience including 14 years of teaching college literature.

In this lesson plan, students first learn about elegies by reading a modern one, written as a song, and a classic one, written as a poem. After they uncover the form of the traditional elegy, students further explore this type of writing by producing an original work.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain the characteristics of an elegy
  • discuss how word choice creates tone in a poem
  • write an original elegy

Length

60-90 minutes depending on time given to write

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.1

Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).

Materials Needed

  • The song and copies of the lyrics for ''American Pie'' by Don McLean
  • Copies of ''O Captain! My Captain!'' by Walt Whitman
  • Index cards
  • Markers
  • Tape or push pins

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