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HomeClassroom ResourcesLesson Plans

Lesson Plan

Robert Frost Prompts the Poet in You

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Robert Frost Prompts the Poet in You

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Dori Maria Jones

Oxnard, California

Publisher

International Reading Association

 

Student Objectives

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4

Session 5

Extensions

Student Assessment/Reflections

 

STUDENT OBJECTIVES

Students will

  • Identify key details about Frost's life that helped to shape his poetry

  • Identify a reading"“writing connection by collaboratively creating a poetry prompt, or a connected writing assignment, for one of Frost's poems

  • Use a poetry prompt to write an original poem reminiscent of the form and style of a selected Frost poem

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Session 1

1. Explain to students that during the next five sessions they will be reading poetry by Robert Frost and writing their own poems using a similar form and style as Frost's poems.

2. Read aloud to students the brief biography found at Poets.org: Robert Frost. Share also with students the Key Facts About Robert Frost.

3. Remind students that poets and other authors often write about what they know and what they have experienced in their own lives.

4. Ask students to predict the topics and themes that Frost's poetry might cover. Try to get them to be as specific as possible. Write their predictions on chart paper and post them in the classroom.

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Session 2

1. Display the chart paper with "The Pasture" by Frost. Read the poem aloud two times using a natural voice. Discuss the poem with students:

  • What do you see when listening to this poem?

  • Who is Frost talking to in the poem?

  • Why does he invite the listener to come out to the pasture with him?

  • What things does he want the listener to see?

  • Are there any words in the poem that are unfamiliar?
2. Ask for student volunteers to read "The Pasture" aloud. Then have the class discuss what they would want someone to see if invited into their world.

3. Display the chart paper with "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Frost and read it aloud two times. Facilitate a class discussion by asking the following questions:

  • Who is stopping by woods?

  • Where might the speaker be going?

  • What words and images describe the scene in this poem?
4. Ask for a pair of student volunteers to read aloud "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." Continue further discussion of the poem by asking what promise might the speaker have made to keep him traveling on a snowy evening.

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Session 3

1. Display the chart paper with "The Road Not Taken" by Frost and read it aloud two times.

2. Ask for four student volunteers to read aloud "The Road Not Taken." Each student can read one of the four verses.

3. Discuss the poem with students using the following questions:

  • What is the storyline of this poem?

  • How do the two roads differ?

  • Which road does the traveler pick?

  • How does he feel about his choice?

  • How would you describe the traveler?
4. Tell students that during the next session you will invite several individuals to read the three Frost poems aloud. Encourage all students to practice reading the poems at home.

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Session 4

1. Remind students that they have been reading three poems written by Frost. Stand by each chart paper and read the title of each poem aloud. Then ask student which poem they liked best and why. Call on a few students to share their opinions.

2. For each poem, invite a student who has not read aloud in the previous sessions to read the poem aloud to the class.

3. Return to the predictions students made in Session 1 pertaining to the themes and topics of Frost's poetry. Discuss whether any of their predictions were correct.

4. Discuss the reasons why poets and other authors might draw upon their own lives and experiences when choosing topics and themes to write about.

5. Using a secret ballot, have students vote to determine which of the three Frost poems they liked the most. Announce the class favorite and ask the following questions:

  • Why do you think this poem was voted the class favorite?

  • What makes this poem special?

  • What is this poem about?
Record students' ideas on an overhead transparency or on chart paper.

6. Explain to students that together you will create a poetry prompt that will help them write their own poems.

7. Have students brainstorm ideas for their poetry prompt by recording phrases and ideas that they suggest for their own poems. Record these ideas on the board or chart paper.

8. Combine students' ideas into a broadly stated writing suggestion or assignment that connects the selected poem to the students' own world. Continue editing the poetry prompt as long as students have comments.

9. When you think that you (and your students) are finished with the poetry prompt, read aloud from the classroom poster A Great Poetry Prompt. If it largely describes your poetry prompt, you are done. If there are characteristics not included in your writing, continue working with students to develop it further.

A sample poetry prompt for "The Pasture" follows:

Write a poem inviting someone to join you doing or experiencing something that you especially enjoy. It can be something you like to do outdoors or indoors. It can be a special place that you like to visit or an activity that you enjoy. Think about the things that make the place or activity special. Use descriptive words in your poem to encourage the reader to accept your invitation. Help him or her to see, hear, and feel the wonderful experience that is so special to you.

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Session 5

1. Reread and discuss the poetry prompt that your students created during Session 4, making sure to answer any questions your students may have.

2. Model your writing process for the first 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Allow students to write silently for 20 to 30 minutes, while you circulate and assist those students who are struggling.

4. Have students share drafts of their poems with partners. Each partner will provide feedback to the writer by ensuring that the poem adheres to the poetry prompt and incorporates some of the student's personal experiences.

5. Students can then edit and revise the initial drafts of their poems based on their partner's feedback.

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EXTENSIONS

  • Have students read aloud the final drafts of their poems.

  • Reinforce students' ability to connect great poems to their own lives by having them write poetry prompts for a poem such as "Biscuit" by Jane Kenyon.

  • For extra credit, have students research the life of one of their favorite poets and tell how the poet's life experiences may have influenced his or her poetry. Students can also read aloud to the class several poems by the poet that support their insights.

  • Have students share key details from their own lives that might shape their work as poets.

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STUDENT ASSESSMENT/REFLECTIONS

  • Students will list three key details about Frost's life that helped to shape his poetry. They will then pick one detail to develop into a paragraph that also connects to one of the Frost poems they have studied.

  • As a class, students will collaboratively create a powerful poetry prompt for one of Frost's poems. The prompt can be evaluated using the sheet Have You Written A Great Poetry Prompt?

  • You can evaluate students' original poems using the following criteria:

    • Is the poem based on a good or great poetry prompt?
    • Does the poem adhere to the requirements noted in the poetry prompt?
    • Does the poem remind the reader of the original poem without using the same words?
    • Does the poem reflect the student's own life experiences in some way?

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