Lesson Plan Block 11


Block 11 (One or two lesson plans)
Learning Targets: Students will be able to:

·      Respond to poetry, citing evidence from the poem that supports conclusions drawn from details.

·      Put texts into conversation with each other and generate new insights through the comparative analysis.

·      Analyze a poem and for both denotative and connotative meanings. Analyze the impact of the author’s textual choices in creating an overall effect.

·      Analyze a critical essay, identifying its central argument and connecting it to poetry.

Common Core Standards Alignment: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.1

Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.


Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.)


Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.


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


Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.




Writing prompt:

·      What are some assumptions that people might make about you when they see you? What assumptions are mostly true, partially true, or untrue?

·      Have students discuss (maybe with a partner on the other side of the room this time) what they wrote about.

Scaffolded learning activities: ESSAY READING

·      Pass out copies of Ona Gritz’s essay “A Conscious Decision”

·      Read the essay silently, aloud to your students, using the “popcorn method” (assuming that all students feel comfortable reading aloud in front of the whole class), or read it aloud in small groups.

·      Discuss* what Gritz might be wanting to express about her own identity and how that contradicts what people might assume about her.


·      Pass out copies of Gritz’s poem “We Are Everywhere.” Then read “The Star Market” by Maria Howe.

·      Read the poems. Invite students to read silently first, and then aloud in small groups, each with a volunteer reader.


·      Have students do an abbreviated TPCASTT-style analysis of each poem.

·      Draw a dotted-line-Venn diagram and invite students to do the same in their notes (or you can have them work in pairs to draw diagrams on big paper). Remind students that the reason that we create dotted lines is that the boundaries between texts are often blurred or indefinite. A point of similarity can also be a point of difference.

·      Tell students to compare and contrast the two poems, with special emphasis on point-of-view, specifically, what people assume or how they react when they see other people with disabilities. Have students analyze how the speaker in Gritz’s poem views other disabled people in contrast to how the (presumably able-bodied) speaker in Howe’s poem views people with disabilities.

·      In the whole-group discussion after students have completed their Venn diagrams, invite students to start considering how society’s assumptions about (and reactions to) people with disabilities create a culture of ableism. Start looking back over previous poems studied and drawing them into the conversation in preparation for the larger review and reflection in the next lesson block.

Independent application: Final draft of literary analysis paper.
Materials: Journals for students.
Accessibility: ·      The writing prompt may be too personal or perhaps even painful for some students to share. Gauge the level of comfort with the subject and perhaps invite a few students to share their thoughts with the whole class. Alternatively, some students may prefer to share their thoughts online, in the form a shared Google doc or blog post.

*Discussions may be adapted to the form best suited for your students. You could make this discussion a “think-pair-share,” a whole class discussion, or a small group discussion. If it is a whole-class discussion, consider allowing students to participate by writing their thoughts on notecards if they would rather not speak aloud in front of all the other students.


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