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Ch 8: Modernist Poetry Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The Modernist Poetry chapter of this American Literature Syllabus Resource and Lesson Plans course is designed to help you plan and teach the key poets and poetry styles of the Modernist period in your classroom. The video lessons, quizzes and transcripts can easily be adapted to provide your lesson plans with engaging and dynamic educational content. Make planning your course easier by using our syllabus as a guide.

Weekly Syllabus

Below is a sample breakdown of the Modernist Poetry chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.

Day Topics Key Terms and Concepts Covered
Monday History of the Modernist poetry movement and the Imagist Movement; E.A. Robinson; Amy Lowell, H.D. Analyze the shift in the types of poetry written, characteristics of Imagism; profile Robinson's poems' endings, rhymes and meters, and highlight two of his most famous poems, 'Richard Cory' and 'Miniver Cheevy'; highlight poetry by two of the Imagist founders, Lowell and H.D.
Tuesday Edgar Lee Masters, William Carlos Williams, E.E. Cummings The characters, style, importance and topics of Masters' Spoon River Anthology poem collection; discussion of Williams' 'Landscape with the Fall of Icarus' and 'The Red Wheelbarrow' poems; examine Cummings' poetry style
Wednesday Edna St. Vincent Millay, Wallace Stevens, Hart Crane Millay's 'First Fig' poem and her influence on the Modernist shift; the imagery and style of Stevens' 'Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird'; analysis of Crane's 'The Bridge' and 'The Waste Land' poems and the effect he had on the Modernist poetry period
Thursday Robert Frost, Sylvia Plath, confessional poetry Frost's 'The Road Not Taken' and some of his other famous works; components of confessional poetry and Plath's impact on the genre
Friday T.S. Eliot Background, style and works of Eliot and the discussion of his poems, 'The Waste Land' and 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'

14 Lessons in Chapter 8: Modernist Poetry Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
E.A. Robinson and the Shift in Modernist Poetry Style

1. E.A. Robinson and the Shift in Modernist Poetry Style

In the early 1900s, a new movement in poetry emerged. Find out about the Modernist movement in poetry and one of the first American Modernists, E.A. Robinson.

The Imagist Movement: Poems, Examples & Key Poets

2. The Imagist Movement: Poems, Examples & Key Poets

The Imagist movement in modern poetry focused on describing objects as opposed to the long philosophical discussions of traditional poetry. Read on to find out more about Imagism and read poems by two of its founders, H.D. and Amy Lowell.

Robinson's Miniver Cheevy and Richard Cory: Poem Summaries & Analysis

3. Robinson's Miniver Cheevy and Richard Cory: Poem Summaries & Analysis

E.A. Robinson wrote poems with traditional rhyme and meter but with very Modernist views. Read on to analyze two of his most famous poems, 'Miniver Cheevy' and 'Richard Cory.'

Edgar Lee Masters and the Spoon River Anthology Poems: Characters, Analysis & Summary

4. Edgar Lee Masters and the Spoon River Anthology Poems: Characters, Analysis & Summary

Edgar Lee Masters' collection of modernist poems, 'The Spoon River Anthology', told the dark secrets of small-town life. Below, read two of the poems from 'The Spoon River Anthology' and follow as we analyze them.

William Carlos Williams's Poems: 'The Red Wheelbarrow' and 'Landscape with the Fall of Icarus'

5. William Carlos Williams's Poems: 'The Red Wheelbarrow' and 'Landscape with the Fall of Icarus'

William Carlos Williams was a famous American modernist poet. His poems 'The Red Wheelbarrow' and 'Landscape with the Fall of Icarus' illustrate several aspects of modernist poetry. Read on to find out more about Williams and his poetry, and test your understanding with a quiz.

E.E. Cummings' Free Verse Poetry: Analysis

6. E.E. Cummings' Free Verse Poetry: Analysis

Edward Estlin Cummings, or E.E. Cummings as he was better known, was a modernist poet who wrote poems in a new and innovative style. Read on to find out more about him and analyze two of his famous poems.

Edna St. Vincent Millay: Poems & Analysis

7. Edna St. Vincent Millay: Poems & Analysis

Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote modernist poetry by combining traditional forms with new ideas. In this lesson, we'll take a look at two of Millay's poems and analyze them for form and ideas.

Wallace Stevens's 'Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird': Summary & Analysis

8. Wallace Stevens's 'Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird': Summary & Analysis

Wallace Stevens' poem 'Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird' is an important American modernist poem that can be seen in several different ways. Read on to find out more about the poem and how to analyze it. Then, test your knowledge with a quiz.

Hart Crane: 'The Bridge' & Influence on Modernist Poetry

9. Hart Crane: 'The Bridge' & Influence on Modernist Poetry

Hart Crane's poem 'The Bridge' changed poetry by showing how modernist forms could be used to express uplifting ideas. In this lesson, you will learn about Crane's influence on modernist poetry as well as 'The Bridge,' and then you'll test your knowledge with a quiz.

Robert Frost Poetry Analysis: The Road Not Taken and Other Poems

10. Robert Frost Poetry Analysis: The Road Not Taken and Other Poems

Robert Frost was a famous American modernist poet. This lesson covers the elements that make Frost's poetry modernist and analyzes his most famous poem, 'The Road Not Taken.'

Sylvia Plath and Confessional Poetry

11. Sylvia Plath and Confessional Poetry

Confessional poetry changed everything regarding what a poem could be written about. In this lesson, we'll study Sylvia Plath, a pioneer of the form. We'll also consider W.D. Snodgrass, Anne Sexton and Robert Lowell.

Introduction to T.S. Eliot: Author Background, Works, and Style

12. Introduction to T.S. Eliot: Author Background, Works, and Style

This video introduces T.S. Eliot and his major works. It outlines his early life and move to England, and traces his stylistic evolution over his most famous and significant poems.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock: Overview and Analysis

13. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock: Overview and Analysis

This video introduces T.S. Eliot's poem, 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.' It outlines the general setup of the poem, its enigmatic lead character and its stylistic characteristics. It also highlights key passages.

The Waste Land: Structure and Style Explained

14. The Waste Land: Structure and Style Explained

As an introduction to T.S. Eliot's landmark poem, 'The Waste Land,' this lesson will outline some of the key Modernist features of the work. We'll address nonlinearity, irony and juxtaposition, voice, and allusions. Through taking a look at each of these features, we'll try to understand why 'The Waste Land' is as strange as it is important.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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