Analyzing poetry is a skill all our students need to develop. While students are required to investigate poems often, poetry analysis is still something that many students struggle with. That's why I'm a big fan of practice! I love to give students lots of opportunities to closely read and analyze poetry.
(And I've put together a FREE one-pager that students can use with any poem!)
POETRY ANALYSIS TIPS
When putting together a poetry analysis lesson, here are some tips I follow:
✔ TIP 1: Select a poem that is long enough for students to adequately investigate, but not too long to make the process overwhelming.
✔ TIP 2: Provide students with background information about the author of the poem. This helps to build context and connections to the poem.
✔ TIP 3: Choose a poem with at least one form of figurative language for students to identify and describe.
✔ TIP 4: Have students read the poem multiple times. You might read the poem out loud first. Then, students might read the poem in a small group or with a partner. Finally, students can read the poem independently.
✔ TIP 5: Give students tasks that become more complex with each reading.
POETRY ANALYSIS TASKS
Then, when I'm actually teaching an analysis lesson, here are 4 analysis tasks that work with ANY poem (Don't worry, you can download the entire lesson for FREE here.):
Task 1: Reflect
After students read a poem, have them reflect on what the poem made them think about and how the poem made them feel. When students share what the poem make them think about they'll be able to pull main ideas from the text. Then, when they share how they felt, they'll need to think more deeply about the poem.
Task 2: Visualize
When students have completed a second reading of the poem, have them select a line or lines from the poem that helped them create a mental image in their minds. Students should write the lines down. Then, have students doodle an actual illustration to portray the words in the poem.
Task 3: Figurative Language
Share the definition for a type of figurative language found in the poem with students. Then, have students read the poem a third time. As they read, encourage them to be on the lookout for an example of the figurate language. Once students find an example have them write it down before explaining its meaning.
Task 4: Theme
Once students read the poem for a final time, have them respond to a short answer question that requires them to identify the theme of the poem. As students write their analyses, encourage them to include direct quotes from the poem.
These analysis tasks build in difficulty and encourage students to naturally dive deeply into the text. If you're looking for poems for students to analyze, check out my favorite poems to teach here:
Download the FREE Doodle One-Pager HERE.
Thanks for stopping by!
P.S. Check out these 5 fun ways to teach poetry!