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An Exploration of Romanticism Through Art and Poetry
|Grades||9 – 12|
|Lesson Plan Type||Unit|
|Estimated Time||Eight 50-minute sessions|
Charleston, South Carolina
In this lesson, students use art and poetry to explore and understand major characteristics of the Romantic period. First, students are introduced to the historical, societal, and literary characteristics of the Romantic period. Next, students deepen their understanding of Romanticism through an evaluation of William Wordsworth's definition of poetry. Students then complete an explication of a painting from the Romantic period, noting its defining characteristics. They use the TP-CASTT method to complete a literary analysis of Wordsworth's poem "The World is Too Much With Us," using their knowledge of Romantic characteristics to classify the poem as Romantic. In the final session, students begin to write an essay showing their understanding of Romanticism.
- Poetry Analysis—TP-CASTT: This resource explains the TP-CASTT method of poetry analysis and provides a blank chart for use in analysis.
- Characteristics of Romanticism: This printable chart lists characteristics of Romanticism, along with explanations of each.
- Is It Romantic?: Students can use this chart to identify elements from any work and explain how they reflect characteristics of Romanticism.
In the introduction of his book Reading in the Dark, John Golden observes that students "tend to be visually oriented, able to point out every significant image in a three-minute MTV music video, but when it comes to doing the same with a written text, they stare at it as if they are reading German." Golden goes on to state "the skills they use to decode the visual image are the same skills they use for a written text" (xiii). Golden's book outlines how to use film to help students practice their skills so they can then be transferred to written texts. This lesson is based on the same principle but uses a painting instead of a film to reinforce the skills that students use to analyze a work of literature.
Golden, John. 2001. Reading in the Dark: Using Film as a Tool in the English Classroom. Urbana, IL: NCTE.