Poetry

Lesson 8

Objective

Identify and explain the purpose of imagery in a poem. 

Explain how imagery affects the tone of a poem. 

Readings and Materials

  • Poem: “A Red Palm” by Gary Soto 

  • Poem: “Oranges” by Gary Soto 

  • Poem: “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver 

Target Task

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Question 1

Read “A Red Palm” by Gary Soto before answering the questions below. Which is an example of imagery?

A.

“That's hours later.” (stanza 2)

B.

“Dust settles on your forehead, dirt” (stanza 2)

C.

“You can buy one splendid fish for wife” (stanza 2)

D.

“Until you have enough and move on to milk” (stanza 2)

Which sensory detail is best captured in your example above? 

A.

Taste

B.

Touch

C.

See

D.

Smell

E.

Hear

Which statement captures why the author uses this example of imagery?

A.

The poet uses this imagery to depict the protagonist’s life of back-breaking work. 

B.

The poet uses this imagery to convey the protagonist’s hope for his son.

C.

The poet uses this imagery to show the protagonist’s need for a shower.

D.

The poet uses this imagery to capture the setting of a cotton farm.

Question 2

Reread the lines from the third stanza below:

The wind makes peace with the trees,
The stars strike themselves in the dark.

How does this imagery change the tone at the end of the poem? Explain using diction from the poem. 

Key Questions

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Read the poem “Oranges” by Gary Soto. 

  • Which line most resonates with you? Explain your answer using details from the text.
  • Identify at least three examples of imagery in the poem that access three different senses. Explain which senses are called on by the speaker for each example. 
  • Why does the poet use these three examples of imagery? How does imagery affect the tone of the speaker? 
  • What is the poem “Oranges” about? How do you know? 
  • What does the woman behind the counter understand? How do you know? Use evidence from the text to support your answer. 
  • Explain other poetic devices the poet uses to develop the central idea in this poem. 

Read the poem “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver.

  • Which line most resonates with you? Explain your answer using details from the text.
  • Why does the poet use these three examples of imagery? Explain which senses are called on by the speaker for each example. 
  • How does imagery affect the tone of the speaker? 
  • According to Oliver, what is her life lesson here? Support your answer with diction from the text. 

Vocabulary

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imagery
sensory details

Notes

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This lesson connects to a unit test question.

Common Core Standards

  • RL.6.4 — Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.