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HomeClassroom ResourcesCalendar Activities

February 01

Langston Hughes was born in 1902.

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Langston Hughes was born in 1902.

Grades 7 – 12
Calendar Activity Type Author & Text

 

EVENT DESCRIPTION

 

 

Langston Hughes was one of the chief voices of the Harlem Renaissance and a noted poet and author. Hughes' poems gave voice to an entire generation of African Americans and their experiences, feelings, thoughts, and dreams.

 

CLASSROOM ACTIVITY

 

 

Provide students with a copy of Hughes' poem "Dreams." Each stanza of the poem is one sentence, and each sentence contains a metaphor for a dream. Tell students that a metaphor compares two objects or ideas that are not generally associated with one another. Have them identify the metaphor in each sentence, and then ask them to think about what Hughes was trying to convey about dreams by using these metaphors. What kind of dream would a "broken-winged bird" represent? How about a "field frozen in snow"?

Brainstorm with the class some other metaphors for dreams that Hughes might have considered for his poem. Conversely, have the class brainstorm metaphors for dreams that people may have that they hope will come true. Working in groups, students can then compose poems using metaphors for dreams coming to fruition.

 

WEBSITES

 

 
  • Langston Hughes (1902-1967)

    From the Modern American Poetry website, this collection of materials includes biographical information and literary criticism on the poet's works.

     

  • America's Story from America's Library: Langston Hughes

    Part of The Library of Congress website, this section features photos and biographical information about Hughes and his work.

     

  • Langston Hughes

    This webpage from the Academy of American Poets provides information about the life of Hughes and offers a collection of 13 of his poems. Links to other poet pages are also provided.

     

  • Langston Hughes: The Poetry Foundation

    This site offers a biography of Hughes and some examples of criticism of his work, along with links to many of his poems and articles both by and about him. There are also some audio recordings of his work.

     

RELATED RESOURCES

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Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Building Reading Comprehension Through Think-Alouds

Students learn components of think-alouds and type-of-text interactions through teacher modeling. In the process, students develop the ability to use think-alouds to aid in reading comprehension tasks.

 

Grade   9  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

A Harlem Renaissance Retrospective: Connecting Art, Music, Dance, and Poetry

Students research, evaluate, and synthesize information about the Harlem Renaissance from varied resources, create an exhibit, and highlight connections across disciplines (i.e., art, music, and poetry) using a Venn diagram.

 

Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Dancing Minds and Shouting Smiles: Teaching Personification Through Poetry

Students learn about personification by reading and discussing poems and then brainstorm nouns and verbs to create personification in their own poems.

 

Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Discovering a Passion for Poetry With Langston Hughes

Through a study of Langston Hughes’ poetry, students connect his writing to his place in history.

 

Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Varying Views of America

Students work together to analyze three poems about America with varying points of view.