Lesson 1


Differentiate between prose and verse. 

Explain the purpose of verse form according to the article.

Explain how the visual and aural depiction of the poem enhances or detracts from the meaning.

Readings and Materials

Target Task


Question 1

Based on the article, poetry provides all of the following for readers EXCEPT:


Poetry gives words to emotions.


Poetry allows for an expression of imagination.


Poetry plays with the structure in order to convey meaning.


Poetry requires the reader to think literally about the meaning of words.


Poetry teaches the reader how to be human and deal with suffering.

Question 2

What do the poems “A Poem Is a Little Path” and “The Bee Poem” offer the reader that the article “What Is a Poem?” does not? 

Key Questions


Read “Tamara’s Opus” first and then watch the video of Joshua Bennett performing the poem.

  • Why do you think Joshua Bennett chose to write his feelings about his sister in poetry rather than prose?
  • How does the video enhance or detract from the meaning of the poem?

Read “A Poem Is a Little Path” and the article, “What Is a Poem?”

  • What is similar about the two texts? How are the two texts structured/organized differently? 
  • Which one do you find to be more appealing? Explain why.
  • Which of the two taught you more about poetry? Explain using details from the text. 

Read “The Bee Poem.”

  • How many lines are in the poem? 
  • How many stanzas?
  • What does the poem suggest about poetry? 

Read “Invitation.”

  • How many lines are in the poem? 
  • How many stanzas?
  • What does the speaker encourage the reader to do? 

Read “I, Too.”

  • How many lines are in the poem? 
  • How many stanzas?
  • How does the speaker feel in this poem? How do you know?






  • This lesson connects to two essential questions.
  • In this lesson, you should clarify your expectations around reading poetry. How should your students read a poem? How many times? What should they look for? 
  • One strategy for interpreting poetry is to start with students asking “Why does the poet” (WDTP) questions:
    • Why does the poet use rhyme here? 
    • Why does the poet compare dreaming to a “broken winged bird”?
    • Why does the poet capitalize “Rage”?
  • After students get all their questions out, they can begin to start answering them. 

Common Core Standards

  • RI.6.6 — Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.

  • RL.6.7 — Compare and contrast the experience of reading a story, drama, or poem to listening to or viewing an audio, video, or live version of the text, including contrasting what they "see" and "hear" when reading the text to what they perceive when they listen or watch.

  • RL.6.9 — Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres (e.g., stories and poems; historical novels and fantasy stories) in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics.