Build background knowledge about the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes, and jazz poetry through primary source images and links to video clips. This introductory lesson for middle school ELA students includes a literary analysis writing assignment and rubric for analyzing style in Hughes’s poetry.
While this resource can be used as a standalone lesson, it does not include instruction on poetry analysis in itself and is most effective as part of the complete unit.
♦ Slideshow presentation to project on your whiteboard
♦ Graphic organizer and doodle notes page
♦ Poetic devices definition cards and storage pocket for the interactive notebook
♦ Single point rubric for literary analysis essay
♦ Teacher Guide with discussion notes and sample answers
(1) Title slide
(2-6) How to set up your interactive notebook
(7) The Great Migration
(9) Harlem Renaissance
(10) Langston Hughes
(11) Harlem Renaissance video & doodle notes
(12-13) Jazz Poetry
(14-15) Langston Hughes’s Style writing assignment
(16) Success criteria for writing assignment
(1) Product overview
(2) Table of contents
(3) Overview of complete unit bundle (This lesson is only the introduction to the unit)
(4) Tips for using interactive notebooks
(5) Presentation layout and navigation
(6-9) Slide-by-slide discussion guide with questions and additional information
(10-19) Printable interactive notebook pieces for poetry elements taught in the unit; full page of each: allusion, assonance, connotation, extended metaphor, imagery, repetition, rhyme, simile, vernacular
(20) Printable interactive notebook section tabs
(21) Printable interactive notebook pockets (to hold poetry elements pieces)
(22) Doodle notes on the Harlem Renaissance and graphic organizer for Langston Hughes’s writing style
(23) Rubric for literary analysis of Hughes’s writing style
(24) Answer key for doodle notes page
(25) Bibliography and recommended additional resources
(Optional — A single copy of the applicable pieces is also included with each lesson in the unit. These pages are provided here in case you want to print each element of poetry on color-coded paper.) Make one copy for every 15 students of the poetry elements pieces (pages 10-18). Page 19 provides a blank editable copy so that you can add your own element of poetry and definition, too. Make one copy for every 6 students of the poetic devices pockets (page 21). Use a paper slicer to cut the pieces apart before distributing to students.
Make one copy per student of the Langston Hughes doodle notes and graphic organizer (page 22).
Make one copy per every two students of the rubric for the writing assignment (page 23). Cut the rubrics apart before distributing, or have students cut the page and share with a partner.
How to Use this Lesson
The ready-to-use slideshow presentation is designed to be projected onto a whiteboard to guide your students through the lesson. Pages 6-9 of the Teacher Guide provide notes that you may use to facilitate the discussion of the Harlem Renaissance and Langston Hughes. You may want to print the Teacher Guide or have it open on a tablet for reference during the lesson.
The lesson includes links to five outside sources:
YouTube audio recording of Hughes reciting his poem “One-Way Ticket”
YouTube video of a student project interpreting the poem
Google Maps view of Harlem today
video about the Harlem Renaissance from History.com
YouTube audio recording of 1920s style jazz music
The slideshow ends with a literary analysis writing assignment to be completed as students read and analyze Hughes’s poems throughout the unit. If you are using this resource as a standalone lesson without the poetry unit, you can provide your own selection of Langston Hughes’s works for students to read. You may choose to use this for informal writing and have students complete the rubric themselves as self-assessment, trade papers with a partner and give feedback, or complete a formal assessment and have students submit papers to be scored.
W.7.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
W.8.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
This free poetry analysis activity is an excerpt from the Langston Hughes Poetry Unit.
Get the most from this lesson by using it along with coordinating lessons for Langston Hughes “Mother to Son,” Langston Hughes “Harlem [Dream Deferred],” and Langston Hughes “The Negro Speaks of Rivers.”
Save 20% by purchasing all items in the Langston Hughes Poetry Unit.