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Sheila Morton

Sample Lesson Plan 2


Lesson Topic: Motifs in Literature

Units Essential Question: What is a motif in literature and how does it impact how
we read?
Time required for lesson: Two days

TNReady Literature


Standard 4. Determine Analysis of Patterns by Amy Lowell as

the meaning of words
demonstrated by map of the poem.
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
Creation of students own motif poems.
place; how it sets a
formal or informal
5. Analyze how an
authors choices
concerning how to
structure a text, order
events within it (e.g.,
parallel plots), and
manipulate time (e.g.,
pacing, flashbacks)
create such effects as
mystery, tension, or

All students will be able Fractal Diagram, Formative Assessment
to identify a poetic

Sheila Morton

Sample Lesson Plan 2


motif as evidenced by
their completion of the
fractals diagram by
the end of the first day
of this two-day lesson
All students will learn
to create a motif in a
poem of their own as
evidenced by their final
poetry projects at the
end of day two of this
two-day lesson. At least
80% of the students
will earn an 80% or
better on this writing

Whole class discussion

using Socratic methods


Whole class discussion

using Socratic methods

Writing assignment: Poem, Summative


Day One
I will begin with a powerpoint of several
fractals, beginning with natural fractals.
Without explaining what they are or
explaining why Im showing them the
fractals, Im going to tell them to just watch
and try to figure out what each of the
images has in common. After Ive shown
them half a dozen or so natural fractals, Im
going to ask them what they think each of
the images has in common. I will invite
creative and critical responses.
Next, I will say, Now Im going to show you
a few more images. See if these help to
clarify the connections youve been
making. I will then show them some
computer-generated fractals. The
connections here should be easier for them
to spot. After Ive shown them half a dozen
or so of these images, well return to our

Sheila Morton

Sample Lesson Plan 2

original discussion question: What do all of
these images have in common?

Direct Instruction

Once theyve worked around to the

realization that all are examples of the
repetition of patterns to create a larger
image, I will tell them that fractals are all
around. Nature cleverly creates patterns,
and the human mind has been scientifically
shown to look for patterns everywhere, to
try to create them, even if our brains have
to force the connections (this will allow me
to help them make cross-curricular
connections as well).
Explain that it was this principle that is at
the heart of a lot of our art works as well,
including poetry. And this desire to see
patterns in the world around us interested
poet Amy Lowell in her poem, Patterns.

Group work/Structured

Group problem solving

Whole class discussion

Individual analysis and

visual creation

I will then place the poem on the overhead

projector. I will explain that, as weve
discussed before, poetry is meant to be
heard, so Im going to read it out loud to
them this first time through.
Next, I will put them in groups of three and
assign students specific roles. One student
will read the poem out loud to his/her
partners. One will simply listen, without
looking at the text, and will hold up his/her
hand every time s/he hears a key phrase
that is repeated. Finally, once they reach the
end of the poem, the third student, who has
been carefully listening and watching, will
decide what motifs are present in the poem
is and write them down at the top of their
paper. As a group, they will then go through

Sheila Morton

Sample Lesson Plan 2

the poem and highlight or underline each
motif in a separate color.

Student example

Guided individual

Individual writing

Partner work

We will then regroup as a class, and I will

put the poem back on the overhead
projector. Together, using their group work
as guides, we will underline the motifs in
separate colors.
Finally, I will give them a fractal chart and
they individually write the motif in the areas
marked, coloring them the colors we chose
as a class (or that they chose as a group, it
doesnt matter which). This will then give
them a visual representation of the way that
a motif creates a fractal like image.
End of Day One
Day Two
I will begin by showing them an exemplary
assignment from one of the students in the
class from the day before. I will remind
them that a poem with a repeated motif
makes a kind of visual fractal in our minds. I
will then explain that today we are going to
be writing our own poems to understand
how this principle works.
First, I will help them choose an image.
Concrete images are very important to this
kind of poem. I will have some suggestions
on the overhead.
Now, I want them to use descriptions,
sensory details, adjectives, etc. to describe
this image. It needs to remain short but
detailed. I will show them some examples
from literature. I will then give them time to

Sheila Morton

Sample Lesson Plan 2


Classroom Assessment
Technique (CAT)

Now, I want them to write a poem of at least

three stanzas, and their image motif needs
to occur in each one. So think of three
different instances in which this image
might be relevant. Again, I will provide
They will then have time to work on their
poems and I will come around and help
Finally, I will put them with a partner and
have them read their poems aloud to the
partner because, again, poetry is best when
heard. This will also allow them to make any
changes necessary to the meter or rhythm.
It will also allow them to reassure and
compliment one another, as writing poetry
can be intimidating for neophytes.

Before they submit their poems, I will have

them fill out an exit ticket wherein they
describe to me what they have discovered
about why authors use image motifs in
writing poetry.

PowerPoint of fractals in nature and those that have been

computer generated.

A copy of Amy Lowells poem Patterns for the overhead and

one copy for each group of three students.

A fractal chart for each student.

Sheila Morton

Sample Lesson Plan 2


Markers or highlighters for all students.

Sample motifs from poems by published poets and by students