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Lesson Plan

Discovering a Passion for Poetry With Langston Hughes

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Discovering a Passion for Poetry With Langston Hughes

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 45-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Shari Fetterhoff

Walnut Creek, California

Maureen Carroll

Pleasanton, California


International Literacy Association



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From Theory to Practice



Poetry is written to convey the essence of a greater meaning, and it can bundle a great deal of passion in a small package. In this lesson, students begin by discussing the impact of social context on one’s goals and choices. Students analyze examples of contemporary youth poetry and the poetry of Langston Hughes to determine how a writer’s environment influences his or her writing. Students then work in groups to conduct research on how events in the world shaped Hughes’s work. In a group presentation to the class, students cite specific examples that link their interpretation of the poem to the sociohistorical context in which it was written. The lesson culminates with each student creating an original poem that communicates a personal view on a current world issue.

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Library Graffiti interactive tool: Students can use this interactive tool to combine visual interpretations or representations of a text with their written interpretations.

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Myers, M.P. (1997). Passion for poetry. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 41(4), 262–271

  • Motivation for learning must stem from one's existing passions.

  • Poetry can be used across disciplines to engage readers and extend content area studies.

  • Through the use of poetry, students are encouraged to put forth multiple interpretations, which must be supported by evidence from the text.

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