Poetry for Close Reading

May 22, 2023

Poetry is perfect for your close reading activities. Here's a lesson plan idea you can use with your own poetry passages, or if you have Classworks use one of ours!


Choose a poem from Classworks Classroom Reading activities with an appropriate lexile level for your class. 

Try one of these:

How will students access the lesson? Try one of these options:

  • Use the interactive white board to project the passage with print copies for students
  • Small groups using a shared tablet
  • Individually using their own device

Sample Classroom Activity

Read the poem (1st time): Focus on the structure

  • Number the stanzas using the notes tool
  • Highlight (yellow) all of the words they do not know
  • Highlight (blue) words that appeal to touch, sight, smell, sound, or hearing
  • Class discussion: Focus on vocabulary
  • Use context clues to determine the meaning of unknown words
  • Paraphrase each stanza using the notes you created

Read the poem (2nd time): Focus on content

  • Complete the text-dependent questions associated with the passage
  • Have each student summarize the poem in one sentence
  • View students' work in the passage real-time
  • Share summary sentences as a class. Keep track of similarities and differences.

Read the poem (3rd time): Focus on interpretation

  • Have students answer the short answer question
  • Or, have students describe what the poem means and why
  • Both responses should be supported with evidence found in the text

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