Ch 6: American Poetry & Poets Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

Let us help you update your lesson plans and curriculum with this engaging chapter on American poetry and poets. You'll be sure to engage your students with these professionally-designed teacher resources, accessible to you 24 hours a day.

American Poetry & Poets Lesson Plans - Chapter Summary

In this informative chapter, our instructors present lesson plans and other teaching resources for American poets and poetry. You'll find lesson plans on famous poets such as Billy Collins, Richard Cory and Ralph Waldo Emerson, as well as analysis and background information on such works as The Journey by Mary Oliver and Mirror by Sylvia Plath. Feel free to access these resources any time that works best for you on your mobile device or computer for convenient lesson planning.

How It Helps

  • Provides background: With analysis and background information, this chapter thoroughly covers these poets and works of poetry and discusses their context and significance.
  • Meets educational criteria: You can be confident that when you use these resources to teach, your curriculum meets the appropriate educational standards.
  • Simplifies planning: Our lesson plans are ready to add into your curriculum immediately, making your lesson planning process easier and less stressful.

How It Works

This helpful resource offers teachers lesson plan resources with relevant tools to make planning American poets and poetry lessons easy.

  • Use lesson plan outlines for specific American poetry and poets topics you want to cover in class.
  • Formulate your poetry class outline using the suggested classroom tools offered in the lesson plans.
  • Share the related American poetry lessons with students in class to make learning fun and engaging.
  • Use related lesson quizzes to ensure your students understand the most important American poets and poetry concepts from the lessons.
  • Engage your students with relevant American poetry-related activities, discussion questions or other materials found in the lesson plan outline.

40 Lessons in Chapter 6: American Poetry & Poets Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
American Poetry Lesson Plan

1. American Poetry Lesson Plan

Educate your students concerning American Poetry with this lesson plan. They will study a text lesson and a video lesson, take two related follow-up quizzes, and try three activities that will help them comprehend the material.

Analyzing American Poetry: Terms and Examples

2. Analyzing American Poetry: Terms and Examples

It can sometimes be tough to figure out what a poem means. This lesson provides some tools to help you analyze poetry and develop your interpretations.

History of Famous American Poetry & Poets

3. History of Famous American Poetry & Poets

American poetry boasts a rich body of work from American poets such as Anne Bradstreet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Walt Whitman, William Carlos Williams, Langston Hughes, and Eileen Myles.

Civil War Poetry Lesson Plan

4. Civil War Poetry Lesson Plan

In this lesson plan, students examine the Civil War poems of four prominent U.S. poets to determine differences in the their treatment of the war theme. Through a jigsaw activity, students share their findings with their peers.

Civil War Poetry: Famous Poems & Poets

5. Civil War Poetry: Famous Poems & Poets

During the Civil War, some of the most notable American poets offered more than just their words to convey their feelings on the war, such as political influence or physical aid during the war.

Ralph Waldo Emerson Lesson Plan

6. Ralph Waldo Emerson Lesson Plan

Use this lesson plan to introduce students to Ralph Waldo Emerson and his works. Students will read a lesson, create a timeline of Emerson's life, and think critically about some of his works.

Ralph Waldo Emerson: Biography, Poems, Books & Success

7. Ralph Waldo Emerson: Biography, Poems, Books & Success

America's often referred to as a 'melting pot' of cultures and ideas, but Americans still have a unique identity. Meet one of the most influential shapers of that identity in this lesson on the life and work of American thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Billy Collins Lesson Plan

8. Billy Collins Lesson Plan

Learning about old poets may not be the most exciting lesson for students. But this lesson plan uses games and discussion to engage students in the work of American poet Billy Collins.

Billy Collins: Biography & Poetry

9. Billy Collins: Biography & Poetry

This lesson gives biographical information about the poet Billy Collins as well as information about his career, honors, and poetry style. An example of his poetry illustrates the technique of this popular American poet.

Nikki Giovanni Lesson Plan

10. Nikki Giovanni Lesson Plan

Teach your students about poet Nikki Giovanni with this lesson plan. Students will read a text lesson that provides a biography of her life and samples of her poems, analyze and discuss these concepts, then do a fun biographical project.

Nikki Giovanni: Biography & Poems

11. Nikki Giovanni: Biography & Poems

Nikki Giovanni is an African American poet, writer, activist, and educator born in Knoxville, Tennessee. Her poetry and writing have helped shape the Black Arts movement. Read on to find out more about the poet and some of her important poems.

Gwendolyn Brooks Lesson Plan

12. Gwendolyn Brooks Lesson Plan

Teach students about American poet Gwendolyn Brooks with help from this lesson plan. Students will read a text lesson about Brooks, discuss content, create a biography project, and write poems of their own.

We Real Cool Poem Lesson Plan

13. We Real Cool Poem Lesson Plan

What is the poet's message in Gwendolyn Brooks' 'We Real Cool?' A text lesson is used in this lesson plan to summarize and analyze the poem and the poet's techniques for students before an activity challenges them to reimagine the poem in modern slang.

Brooks' We Real Cool Poem: Summary & Analysis

14. Brooks' We Real Cool Poem: Summary & Analysis

This lesson will examine the poem We Real Cool by Gwendolyn Brooks. It will focus on the poem's literary context and techniques. At the end of this lesson, you will be able to analyze the poem from these angles.

We Wear the Mask Lesson Plan

15. We Wear the Mask Lesson Plan

This lesson plan will help students determine the author's messages and interpret his point of view as they read the poem 'We Wear the Mask: Summary, Analysis, and Theme' by Paul Laurence Dunbar.

We Wear the Mask: Summary, Analysis & Theme

16. We Wear the Mask: Summary, Analysis & Theme

This lesson will examine Paul Laurence Dunbar's poem, 'We Wear the Mask,' relative to historical context, literary technique, and overall tone and meaning. At the end of this lesson, students will be able to analyze the poem from these different angles.

Maya Angelou Lesson Plan

17. Maya Angelou Lesson Plan

Use this lesson plan to teach your students about poet and author Maya Angelou. Students will read a biography of her life and a list of her works, before analyzing one of her poems.

Who is Maya Angelou? - Biography, Books, Poetry & Accomplishments

18. Who is Maya Angelou? - Biography, Books, Poetry & Accomplishments

In this lesson, we will look at a remarkable woman, Maya Angelou, and discuss her biography, some of her works, and her accomplishments. You will then be asked to take a short quiz to test your comprehension of the lesson.

And Still I Rise Lesson Plan

19. And Still I Rise Lesson Plan

This lesson plan utilizes a text lesson analyzing Maya Angelou's anthology of poems, as well as an activity involving a group presentation on her poetry. An exit ticket and extension ideas are also included.

Maya Angelou's And Still I Rise: Summary & Analysis

20. Maya Angelou's And Still I Rise: Summary & Analysis

Maya Angelou's famous poem 'Still I Rise' is part of a 1978 collection similarly titled 'And Still I Rise.' This collection is an excellent example of Angelou's poetic style, emphasizing the African experience and the strength and resiliency of women.

Richard Cory Poem Lesson Plan

21. Richard Cory Poem Lesson Plan

Students will analyze the poem Richard Cory using various literary devices. Students will then apply the poem to their own personal experiences of isolation or ostracism.

The Poem Richard Cory: Analysis, Theme & Meaning

22. The Poem Richard Cory: Analysis, Theme & Meaning

In this lesson, we will explore Edwin Arlington Robinson's poem, 'Richard Cory'. Read further to analyze the themes and deeper meaning underneath the surface of this short poem.

Casey at the Bat: Summary, Poem Analysis & Author

23. Casey at the Bat: Summary, Poem Analysis & Author

Want to learn more about the poem 'Casey at the Bat?' Read a short summary of the poem followed by analysis of the poem and some information about the author.

The Journey by Mary Oliver Lesson Plan

24. The Journey by Mary Oliver Lesson Plan

This lesson plan will help students identify the central message of the poem and interpret the author's use of metaphor as they read the 'The Journey' by Mary Oliver.

The Journey by Mary Oliver Summary

25. The Journey by Mary Oliver Summary

Mary Oliver's 'The Journey' uses the idea of a physical journey to relate the internal transformation that comes when you start listening to your own voice. In this lesson, we'll break down this poem and take 'the journey.'

The Courage That My Mother Had Lesson Plan

26. The Courage That My Mother Had Lesson Plan

This lesson plan will help students determine the author's message and interpret figurative language as they read the poem, 'The Courage that My Mother Had' by Edna St. Vincent Millay.

The Courage That My Mother Had Summary

27. The Courage That My Mother Had Summary

Would you rather have a tangible or intangible gift from someone? In this lesson, we'll explore the author's feelings about that very subject in her poem ~'The Courage That My Mother Had.~'

Sylvia Plath's Mirror Lesson Plan

28. Sylvia Plath's Mirror Lesson Plan

What is the message behind Mirror, Sylvia Plath's poem? This lesson plan presents the poem to the class and is supported by a text lesson that summarizes key points. An analysis activity provides a deeper connection with Sylvia Path's words.

Mirror by Sylvia Plath Analysis

29. Mirror by Sylvia Plath Analysis

Sylvia Plath's 'Mirror' is an interesting poem told from the point of view of the mirror. The mirror watches a woman's youth pass her by, and it appears that the woman gauges her worth on what she sees there. Despite her attempts to deceive the mirror -- and herself -- it reflects an honest view of reality.

The Creation by James Weldon Johnson Lesson Plan

30. The Creation by James Weldon Johnson Lesson Plan

This lesson plan will help students retell the poem with detail and examine how the author draws from the Bible to create a unique work as they read 'The Creation' by James Weldon Johnson.

The Creation by James Weldon Johnson Summary

31. The Creation by James Weldon Johnson Summary

James Weldon Johnson retells the story of creation in his appropriately-named poem, ~'The Creation.~' In this lesson, we'll take a look at this poem and summarize the story that it relates to.

The Dash Lesson Plan

32. The Dash Lesson Plan

This lesson plan will help students identify the central message of the poem and interpret the author's use of metaphor as they read the 'The Dash' by Linda Ellis.

The Dash by Linda Ellis: Poem & Meaning

33. The Dash by Linda Ellis: Poem & Meaning

What will your dash represent? In Linda Ellis' poem, ~'The Dash,~' we get a glimpse into the importance of the tiny line between a person's date of birth and the date of their death. This lesson will examine the poem more closely.

Those Winter Sundays Lesson Plan

34. Those Winter Sundays Lesson Plan

This lesson plan focuses on Robert Hayden's 'Those Winter Sundays' and introduces free verse, tone, imagery and theme to students. Students will read and analyze this poem as well as try to create their own renditions.

Robert Hayden's Those Winter Sundays: Summary & Analysis

35. Robert Hayden's Those Winter Sundays: Summary & Analysis

This lesson provides a summary and analysis of Robert Hayden's 1962 poem ~'Those Winter Sundays,~' a simple reflection on his relationship with his father.

Those Winter Sundays: Theme, Tone & Imagery

36. Those Winter Sundays: Theme, Tone & Imagery

Youth is a blessing, but reflection leads to an understanding of just how blessed we really are. In this lesson, we will analyze the poem, ''Those Winter Sundays'' by Robert Hayden, for tone and imagery to learn the theme of the piece.

Incident in a Rose Garden Lesson Plan

37. Incident in a Rose Garden Lesson Plan

With this lesson plan, your students are going to analyze the free-verse poem ''Incident in a Rose Garden''. They will use this as the basis for their own experiments with writing poetry in this style.

Incident in a Rose Garden: Summary & Meaning

38. Incident in a Rose Garden: Summary & Meaning

This lesson will provide a summary and short analysis of Donald Justice's poem 'Incident in a Rose Garden' by exploring the interaction between the three speakers in the poem: the Gardener, the Master, and Death.

Casey at the Bat Lesson Plan

39. Casey at the Bat Lesson Plan

Use this Study.com lesson plan to summarize the popular American poem Casey at the Bat. Analyze and infer meaning, and determine mood and figurative language.

Harlem by Langston Hughes Discussion Questions

40. Harlem by Langston Hughes Discussion Questions

''Harlem'' may be the most famous work of the great poet Langston Hughes. It's also a poem that takes time to really appreciate, and one that is ripe for discussion. These questions can help guide that discussion.

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