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Poetry Analysis, Poetry Writing


6th, 7th, 8th


English Language Arts


95 minutes

Regional Focus



Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Letter to Earth: Poetry for Climate Change

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Feb 28, 2024
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In this lesson, students analyze how art and poetry can be used to talk about climate justice and write their own climate change poem with a message of hope.

Step 1 - Inquire: Students read the poem “Dear Matafele Peinem” by Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner and reflect on what they noticed, wondered, and felt about the poems.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students analyze a poem and investigate how climate change is affecting communities and people around the world.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students use the information they collected to create a piece of poetry about a climate change issue.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson aligns with Hawai'i's Nā Hopena A'o HĀ-BREATH Framework.

  • Students are given voice and choice throughout the lesson.

  • Students engage with a variety of resources and choose the ones that help them best learn.

  • Students use creative means to give voice to climate change action.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be adept at opening links and looking at resources on their own.

  • Students need access to laptops or tablets to see or watch resources.


  • Many parts of the lesson can be completed individually, in pairs, or in groups depending on what the teacher believes is best.

  • Teacher can provide more structure or specific writing elements for students as needed.

  • Students and teachers can explore and discuss the history or experience of the Marshallese people, both in their home country and in Hawai‘i. Resources can include the following:

  • Students can research other climate change poems to attach to their projects, analyzing the connection between the two.

Scientist Notes

Students can use poetry and other forms of art in this lesson to communicate and share their ideas for tackling climate change. In addition to learning how to spot alliteration in poetry, they will be motivated to share their own experiences about the effects of climate change and ways they can take deep, rapid, and sustained action. It is advised to teach this lesson because it passed our science review.


Primary Standards

  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Literature (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.
    • Writing (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Supporting Standards

  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.8.2 Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to supporting ideas; provide an objective summary of the text.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.8.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.
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