Assignment Overview

Poetry is important because it can promote literacy, builds community and fosters emotional resilience. Poetry allows you to use a creative outlook and apply it toward writing from an expressive perspective.

Choose one of the following poems to annotate:

  1. Robert Frost: Mending Wall
  2. William Shakespeare: Seven Ages of Man
  3. Walt Whitman: O Captain! My Captain!
  4. Langston Hughes: The Weary Blues

How do word choice, sound devices and figurative language work together to create good poetry? This is the driving question for your assessment.

Assignment Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Analyze how poetic elements contribute to the meaning of the theme in a poem by annotating a poem for sound devices, figurative language, and Word Choice.
  • Demonstrate community building by allowing students to freely express their differences and similarities in their writing.
  • By the end of this unit students will be able to identify characteristics of different genres of poetry and through writing poetry and about poetry.
  • Students will be able to decipher different forms of poetry to get the overall meaning of a poem.

Assignment Requirements

  1. You’re going to choose a poem and analyze it.
  2. Next you’ll focus on the visuals of the element you’ve chosen. Define your element & then draw a picture of element in action. Ex. It’s raining cats and dogs.
  3. You’re going to write your own poem.
  4. Answer the Essential Question: What makes good poetry? 

Common Core State Standards

Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

By the end of grade 9, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 9-10 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).

Step 1: Analyze a Published Poem! – 25 Points

You will analyze a poem of your choice. When analyzing this poem you’ll look for at least one element from each poetic category: Word Choice, Figurative Language and Sound Device (three elements total). You’re going to annotate where you found your element from the categories in the poem you’ve chosen. When annotating you’re going to explain why you chose your annotation.

Word Choice  Sound Devices Figurative Language







Rhyme Scheme






Use this analysis frame to write a strong poetic analysis. Remember, this is just one "chunk" of a paragraph. Repeat the evidence and analysis as many times as necessary to prove your point!
Use this analysis frame to write a strong poetic analysis. Remember, this is just one “chunk” of a paragraph. Repeat the evidence and analysis as many times as necessary to prove your point!

Step 2: Illustrate Poetic Devices! – 20 Points

Define each element from step one and then draw a picture of the element in action. For example, it’s raining cats and dogs is hyperbole, so to illustrate this element you would write the definition of the element in the middle of the page, and then you would fill the rest of the page with illustration. Try and have fun with your drawing but it should also explain your reasoning behind choosing your element.

Step 3: Write Your Own! – 20 Points

You’re going to write your own poem. This is your opportunity to be as creative as you like (Please be respectful and appropriate). The poem that you decide to write can be on a topic of your choice.

  • Use the three elements that you identified step one and illustrated in step two.
  • Annotate your poem. Underline and label the elements you’ve found and used in your own poem.

Step 4: Synthesize! – 20 Points

Answer the essential question for your poetry unit, “What makes good poetry.” Think about this question and steps you’ve taken to find out this answer.

Step 5: Present to the Class! – 15 Points

FullSizeRender 9 copyFinally, you’ll present this project on a poster board with all of the pieces from the assessment requirements. Your poster board should clearly display the products from steps one through four. You will give a three to five-minute presentation in class on March 23rd (1st, 3rd, and 5th periods) or March 24th (4th period).


Final Checklist

Make sure you’re ready to turn in your assignment by double-checking your work! Use the checklist below to make sure you completed all requirements!

  • The poem of your choice analyzed and annotated with one element listed from each poetic category
  • Illustrations and definitions of the three elements you chose to focus on from the poem
  • Your own poem annotated pointing out how you used the element you chose in your own poem
  • A thoughtful answer to the essential question of this unit, “What makes good poetry?”