Lesson Plan Block 5


Block 5 (One to two lesson plans)
Learning Targets: Students will be able to:

·      Write a descriptive, imagery-rich poem in an imitative style.

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

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

·      Analyze poems 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.


Analyze a case in which grasping a point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement).


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.

·      Have students get out their journals. The writing prompt is “Write about your religious and/or ethical views and how they impact how you see yourself and the world.” If students feel comfortable doing so, have them discuss what they wrote about with someone sitting near them.

·      Transition to discuss how the poetry we’re going to study today is influenced by and deeply connected to the Buddhist beliefs held by the author, Brian Teare.

Scaffolded learning activities: ESSAY READING AND ANALYSIS

·      Even if students have individuals copies of the book Beauty is a Verb, hand out paper copies of the essay and poems for students to mark up.

·      Have students break into small groups and read the essay silently, highlighting words and phrases that express Teare’s religious beliefs (or at least the beliefs he used to hold). Then have students use a different color of highlighter to mark words and phrases that express his feelings about his disabilities. Have the groups discuss the connections they see between his religion and his attitude toward his disability. Then have them come to a conclusion about how Teare’s religion influences his perspective on his disabled identity, and have them write it in a sentence.


·      Before students read the poems, explain that you are going to analyze the poems’ imagery and look for representation of disability and religion. Have students read each poem silently and then have them re-read each poem aloud in small groups.

·      Then invite students to identify what they think are the two most striking/powerful images in each poem. Invite them to annotate at least one of those images, explaining its connotations.   For example, a cloudy sky is sometimes associated with low spirits, depression, sadness, or confusion. Have them share with their groups what images they thought were the most interesting and why. They should also compare the connotations they identified.

·      Extend the analysis of imagery by having students create a PowerPoint, Google presentation, or Prezi of one of the five poems. Have them find photographs that represent some of the images in the poem and use the lines as captions for the photos. Remind them to cite photos for copyright purposes. You can either have students post their slideshows someplace where the rest of the class can access them or present them to the class.

·      Have students apply their analysis of representations of religion and disability to the poems. In other words, have them use the same color highlighters they used to analyze the essay to find religious references or descriptions of disability in the poems.

·      After a discussion of Brian Teare’s poetic style (sparse; stark; sensual; etc.), invite students to compose a poem of their own in the style of Brian Teare’s poems. They can follow his pattern of adjective/noun and imitate his use of striking imagery. If they feel comfortable, they can write about some aspect of their identity that they feel is important, and they can also use the writing prompt as a springboard to include representations of their religious beliefs in their poems.

·      Have students work with a partner of their choosing to revise and edit the poems they’ve written. Circulate and offer feedback. I suggest putting poems, with students’ express permission, onto a bulletin board.


Independent application: Read Me, chapters 11-13
Materials: Journals for students. Copies of Brian Teare’s essay and poems (a stapled packet for each student).   Two different colors of highlighters for each student.
Accessibility: ·      Make sure that you frame this writing prompt in terms that are accessible for all students, including those who are atheists or agnostics. Explain how students can write about the system of values or virtues to which they ascribe and then explain how those values reveal underlying beliefs about humanity (for example, if I think people should treat each other respectfully, that might mean that I believe that humans deserve respect).

·      Be aware that today’s lesson contains at least two deeply personal issues: religion and disability. Students will likely have strong feelings. Encourage an atmosphere of respect and inclusion that allows all students to feel comfortable expressing beliefs in an articulate way. Be aware that some students will probably not want to share what they write today with anyone, including the teacher. If you give daily participation grades, consider collecting the annotations of Teare’s poems as today’s participation grade.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s