What happens to a dream deferred? This guided close reading lesson for Langston Hughes’ “Harlem” [Dream Deferred] will guide your class in an exploration of theme development using the TPCASTT poetry analysis model. As you lead the discussion with a slideshow presentation, students take notes on a poetry analysis graphic organizer in their interactive notebooks.
♦ Poetry analysis of “Harlem” by Langston Hughes slideshow presentation for you to project on your whiteboard
♦ Printable foldable graphic organizers to analyze elements of poetry
♦ Teacher Guide with discussion questions, sample answers, & rubric
♦ PDF file format for easy use on any computer
(1) Title slide
(2) Unscramble the poem fun activity
(3-5) How to set up your interactive notebook
(7) “Harlem” poem by Langston Hughes
(13) Attitude (tone)
(15) Title revisited
(17) “Harlem” poem in a Nike commercial
(18) Success criteria for writing
(19-21) Sample answers
(1) Product overview
(2) Table of Contents
(3) Tips for using interactive notebooks
(4) Presentation layout and navigation
(5-9) Slide-by-slide discussion guide for Langston Hughes poem with questions
(10) Printable “unscramble the poem” activity
(11-12) Printable interactive notebook graphic organizers for poetry elements and analysis
(13-14) Printable graphic organizer for analyzing the nonfiction essay “Down Under in Harlem” by Langston Hughes
(15) Rubric for evaluation of “Nike: A Dream Deferred”
(16-17) Answer key for “Down Under in Harlem”
Make one copy for every two students (or two small groups) of the “Unscramble the Poem” activity (page 10). Cut the strips, the lines of the poem, apart and mix the order. Clip each set together or store in envelopes until you pass them out to students.
Make one copy per student of the foldable interactive notebook pieces (pages 11-12) that students will need to complete the lesson activities.
Make one copy per student of the foldable graphic organizer for the nonfiction article (pages 13-14). These pages are designed for two-sided printing to make a trifold pamphlet.
Make one copy per every two students of the rubric for the writing assignment (page 15). Cut the rubrics apart before distributing, or have students cut the page and share with a partner.
How to Use this Langston Hughes Poetry Analysis Lesson
The ready-to-use slideshow presentation is designed to be projected onto a whiteboard to guide your students through the lesson. Pages 5-10 of the Teacher Guide provide notes that you may use to facilitate the discussion of Langston Hughes’ poems. 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 four outside sources:
a copy of “Harlem” on poetryfoundation.org
a YouTube video/audio recording of Hughes reciting the poem
an expository essay by Langston Hughes on newrepublic.com
a YouTube video of a Nike commercial that uses the poem
As you read and discuss the poem, students will:
♦ Consider the significance of the title
♦ Paraphrase the poem line by line
♦ Discuss connotations of important words
♦ Identify the speaker’s tone
♦ Determine the theme of the poem
♦ Analyze the poet’s use of rhyme & simile, and their part in developing the theme
♦ Compare the theme of a commercial video that uses the poem
♦ Close read an essay by Langston Hughes that describes life in 1944 Harlem
The slideshow ends with a literary analysis writing assignment and criteria for success. 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.
RL.7.1 Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
RL.7.2 Determine a theme and analyze its development over the course of a text; provide an objective summary of a text.
RL.7.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhyme and other sound devices on meaning and tone.
W.7.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
RL.8.1 Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
RL.8.2 Determine a theme and analyze its development, including relationship to characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of a text.
RL.8.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choice, including analogies and allusions, on meaning and tone.
W.8.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
This poetry analysis activity is an excerpt from this lesson. You can try it for free!
Save 20% by purchasing all items in the Langston Hughes Poetry Unit.