Analyzing Poems Lesson Plan

Analyzing poetry

Analyzing Poems Lesson Plan

In this lesson plan, focus is on teaching the techniques and strategies for analyzing poems. Attention is paid to formal as well as thematic interpretation of poetry.


Poetry – Words create realities

A good way to start working with poetry would be reading it both silently and aloud.

Reading the poem

Ask students to read the poem carefully many times both silently and aloud. This will help the students get an overall feel for the formal aspects of the poem, namely, the language, rhyme, and rhythm.

Consider the context

Establishing the context of the poem will help in its understanding. Students must answer questions like:

  • Who wrote the poem?
  • When was the poem written and in which country?
  • Was the poem translated or is it in its original language?
  • Does the poem constitute a part of a whole? Is it for example a part of a special collection or series?
  • Which literary movement does it belong to?

The poet’s message

Decide on the poet’s message and intention. There is usually a central idea in a poem. Ask students to make an inference, reading between the lines and paying close attention to the details in the poem to make a logical assumption. Taking into consideration the poem’s diction and register, allow students to make interpretation and identify the poem’s theme.


Help students visualize the images  and identify all the figures of speech and symbols in the poem and discuss why they are used effectively. Students must be able to answer these questions:

  • Which image does the poet want to paint in the readers’ head?
  • What words does s/he use to convey his image?
  • Why does s/he choose these words?
  • Which figures of speech does the poet use to convey images?


Does the poem connect to anything in the students’ lives?

Follow up

Written reflection about the poem.

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