Poem Analysis

Poem Analysis

Course(s)/Subject(s): English 8

Grade Level(s): 8

Key Words: English, technology, poetry, poem analysis, poetic terms or devices, slide show

Developer(s) Name: Alice H. Sontag

School: Carl Sandburg Middle School

Attached Files:

(1) Poem
(2) SlideShow Oral Pres Score Guide
(3) Slide Show Guide Students
(4) Directions for slide show

Approximate Time Frame: 3 days in library; 5 days in computer lab

Materials/Equipment Needed: books of poetry; computer lab

Description of Lesson (includes context):
Prior to working on the slide show, students will have learned about literary terms and poetic devices; defined terms and devices; been provided sample poems and model analyses; practiced analyzing poems as a large group, in small groups or pairs, and individually; written their own examples. Students will then go to the school library to “browse” through poetry books. They, as pairs or individually, will select and copy one poem with which to work during slide show preparation. They will analyze and mark their copy of the poem, planning possible ways to visually highlight the applicable literary terms and the devices used by the poet. In the computer lab, students will use ClarisWorks slide show or other software such as PowerPoint to create a presentation of their selected poems. They will use the graphics library to insert for visual imagery.


1. What is the objective of this lesson?

FCPS POS Standards:
English Standard 1: Students read and write a variety of forms.
English Standard 2: Students use strategies to construct meaning when working with language.
English Standard 4: Students respond critically to ideas in written and spoken language.
English Standard 5: Students use language processes to acquire, organize, and communicate information.
English Standard 6: Students enjoy and appreciate language and literature.

FCPS POS Benchmarks:
English 8.1-1; English 8.1-4; English 8.2-2; English 8.2-3;
English 8.2-4; English 8.4-1; English 8.4-3; English 8.4-4;
English 8.5-1; English 8.5-3; English 8.6-2
FCPS POS Indicators:
(8.1-1) bullets 1, 4; (8.1-4) bullet 4; (8.2-2) bullets 2, 4, 5, 6; (8.2-3) bullets 1, 2, 3; (8.2-4) bullets 3,5, 6, 7;
(8.4-1) bullets 1, 2, 7; (8.4-3) bullets 3, 4, 5, 7;
(8.4-4) bullets 1, 3, 4, 5; (8.5-1) bullets 2, 3, 5;
(8.5-3) bullet 1; (8.6-2) bullets 1, 2, 3, 4.

VA SOL(s) (including Computer/Technology):
English 8.2, 8.3, 8.4
C/T 8.1, 8.3



2. What will we examine as evidence of students’ knowledge and/or skill?

Product(s): Content of slide show; presentation of slide show to classmates.

Performance(s): Rubrics for slide show. (See attachment 1.)
Scoring guide for presentation to classmates. (See attachment 2.)



3. What exactly will the students and teacher do during the lesson?

Directions to students for proceeding with the lesson:

  1. Select a short to medium length (or several stanzas of a long) published poem.
  2. Analyze that poem for a minimum of six poetic devices and/or literary terms.
  3. Plan and prepare a rough draft “story board” of how you might visually present your analysis of the poem.
  4. (See attachment 3.)

Directions to teacher/administrator using the lesson?

  1. Students must have a thorough understanding of grade appropriate literary terms and devices (those indicated in the SOL’s and FCPS POS). Sufficient classroom time must be provided for defining terms and devices and practice analyzing sample poems.
  2. If possible, present a previously produced slide show as a model.
  3. Students must arrive at the computer lab with a copy of the poem they have selected and a rough draft plan of how they intend to visually present their analysis of the poem.
  4. Use part of the first day in the computer lab to review with students the procedures for preparing a ClarisWorks slide show. (As eighth graders, most students have a basic familiarity with the process because all have had the nine weeks “Keyboarding and Technology Tools” course in seventh grade.)
  5. Provide students with general instructions as a reminder/memory jogger. (See attachment 4.)
  6. Advise students to set up the pages of the slide show and type in the text, as planned for each page, prior to highlighting/underlining/modifying fonts or choosing/inserting pictures.


4. What options in presentation(s) and/or response(s) are suggested in order to provide the opportunity for all students to demonstrate achievement of the benchmark(s) and indicator(s)?

Because of the nature of the project, students rarely finish early. They always seems eager, willing, and able to tinker and fine-tune through the entire five day period.
Students who require more time for the basic requirements are encouraged to stay after school.
Advanced students should be encouraged to analyze their poems beyond the minimum requirements. They might also be presented with more sophisticated devices and analysis techniques during classroom instructional time and may then wish to incorporate that knowledge into their slide show.
Some students, who are very familiar with ClarisWorks Slide Show, may want to use, as their presentation vehicle, HyperStudio or PowerPoint if that software is available. HyperStudio has a more extensive graphics library but the final product does not play through automatically. It requires “mouse manipulation”. PowerPoint has attractive graphics and interesting sound libraries, but is not as student-user friendly.