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Topic

Poetry Writing

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th

Subject

English Language Arts

Duration

60 minutes

Regional Focus

Global

Format

Google Docs, Google Slides

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This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

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“Pale Blue Dot, We Will Fail You Not”: A Poetry Lesson

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Feb 27, 2024
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Synopsis

In this lesson, students will analyze Amanda Gorman's poem "Earthrise" and write their own poetry.


Step 1 - Inquire: Students watch Amanda Gorman perform her poem “Earthrise.”


Step 2 - Investigate: In groups, students analyze one stanza of “Earthrise.” Students take notes and then share their thinking with the rest of the class.


Step 3 - Inspire: Students write their own poem, drawing inspiration from “Earthrise.”

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • Amanda Gorman is a brilliant poet.

  • Students will engage in lively group discussions. This poem is abundant in deep meaning and rhyme.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Before class, share the following with your students:

    • Student Slideshow. All students need editing rights, as they will be writing in the same slideshow.
    • Full Text of the Poem "Earthrise." Students will need viewing rights.
    • Student Document. Each student needs their own copy, as they will be writing their own poem on this document.
  • Amanda Gorman is most famous for performing "The Hill We Climb" at Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration on January 20, 2021.
  • Amanda Gorman delivered a TED talk called "Using Your Voice is a Political Choice."

Differentiation

  • You can select students of all abilities to read part of the poem after you have watched the video.

  • The six stanzas selected for group discussion are of various lengths. They range from 6 lines to 19 lines. You can assign weaker students to the shorter stanzas.
  • You can create groups of mixed abilities.
  • Students who like to take notes can be scribes in their groups.
  • Students may be unfamiliar with some of the vocabulary in “Earthrise.”
  • Students should use the two linked dictionaries on the resources slide to find definitions of unfamiliar words.
Scientist Notes

The lesson introduces students to basic literary techniques and how to use poetry skills to communicate climate change and solutions to a diverse audience. There is no science to verify, but the resources, accompanying materials, and links in the lesson are credible and ideal for teaching. This lesson has passed our review.

Standards

Primary Standards

  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Literature (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.7 Compare and contrast the experience of reading a story, drama, or poem to listening to or viewing an audio, video, or live version of the text, including contrasting what they "see" and "hear" when reading the text to what they perceive when they listen or watch.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.7.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.7.7 Compare and contrast a written story, drama, or poem to its audio, filmed, staged, or multimedia version, analyzing the effects of techniques unique to each medium (e.g., lighting, sound, color, or camera focus and angles in a film).

Supporting Standards

  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Literature (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.5 Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.7.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.5 Compare and contrast the structure of two or more texts and analyze how the differing structure of each text contributes to its meaning and style.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of grades 6-8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
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