This guided close reading lesson for Langston Hughes’ “Mother to Son” is based on the TPCASTT poetry analysis lesson 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 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
(2-4) How to set up your interactive notebook
(5) “Dreams” poem by Langston Hughes
(8) “Mother to Son” poem by Langston Hughes
(10) Langston Hughes quote
(14) Extended metaphor
(16) Attitude (tone)
(18) Title revisited
(20-21) Comparison of theme in the Langston Hughes poems “Dreams” and “Mother to Son”
(22-26) Sample answers
(1) Product overview
(2) Table of contents
(3) Tips for using interactive notebooks
(4) Presentation layout and navigation
(5-10) Slide-by-slide discussion guide for Langston Hughes poems with questions
(11-12) Printable interactive notebook graphic organizers
(13) Rubric for literary analysis of theme development
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 every two students of the rubric for the writing assignment (page 13). 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 presentation includes links to three outside sources:
- the Visual Thesaurus website
- a copy of “Mother to Son” on poetryfoundation.org
- a YouTube video of a recitation of the poem
As you read and discuss the poems, 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 repetition, imagery, vernacular & extended metaphor, and their part in developing the theme
♦ Compare the development of theme in “Dreams” and “Mother to Son”
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 free poetry analysis activity is an excerpt from the Langston Hughes Poetry Unit.
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