Using Poems to Get Students Analyzing

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • Nov. 11, 2019, 8:20 a.m.

A great way to get students thinking at the analysis level is by using a song or poem of the week! Each day students will read and dive into thinking about the text through a different lens than before. Each time they reread, they grab another piece of new thinking and learning to add to their schema.

Start with a short poem or song that most students already know. (i.e. 5 Little Pumpkins or Taylor Swift's Shake it Off). 

Example Questions to Guide Thinking to the Analysis Level

Day 1: What is the author's message? (Theme)

Day 2: How did the author say their message? (Author's craft)

Day 3: How is the speaker (character(s)) feeling? (Author's purpose)

Day 3: What words or phrases help you understand the speaker or character's feelings? (Inferencing)

Day 4: What is the author NOT saying in their text? (Inference)

Other Questions for Thinking at the Analysis Level:

  • Do you agree with the speaker of the poem? Why or why not?
  • What can the reader tell about the character or speaker?
  • How is the speaker similar to yourself?
  • How is this text similar to ____________?
  • What do you think the character or speaker will probably do next?

Kelly Harmon and Randi Anderson

About The Authors

Kelly Harmon & Associates began in 2001 with a mission of instructional coaching and providing rich literacy resources for educators and parents. Our work incorporates research-based best practices for teaching and learning.

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