Engage your middle school students with this Langston Hughes poetry unit. These American poems of the Harlem Renaissance resonate with current events. This unit is based on the TPCASTT poetry analysis model: Title, Paraphrase, Connotations, Attitude (tone), Shift, Title revisited, and Theme. The lessons use guided close reading of Langston Hughes’s poems “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” “Dreams,” “Mother to Son,” and “Harlem” (Dream Deferred).
Each lesson in this poetry unit includes a Teacher Guide for the slideshow presentation and printable interactive notebook pieces. Project the slideshow on your whiteboard to guide students through the analysis of a poem. Lessons emphasize two or three poetic devices, in addition to the TPCASTT model. Students will interact with the lesson and add notes on foldable graphic organizers in their interactive notebooks.
- Poetry analysis slideshow presentations for you to project on your whiteboard
- Printable foldable graphic organizers to analyze elements of poetry
- Teacher Guides for each poetry lesson with discussion questions, sample answers, & rubric
- PDF file format for easy use on any computer
- 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 allusion, assonance, extended metaphor, imagery, repetition, rhyme, simile, & vernacular, and their part in developing the theme.
- Compare the development of theme in two poems.
- Analyze the poet’s style.
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.
RL.7.5 Analyze how a drama’s or poem’s form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning.
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).
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.
Lessons in this unit include The Harlem Renaissance and Langston Hughes, Langston Hughes “Mother to Son,” Langston Hughes “Harlem [Dream Deferred],” and Langston Hughes “The Negro Speaks of Rivers.”
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