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Name: Jessi Headrick Grade Level: 9 Subject Area: English

Identifying Imagery in Poetry

OBJECTIVE
Students will be able to identify similes, metaphors, and other forms of imagery in poetry.

MATERIALS
 Computer
 Projector
 Identifying Imagery in Poetry PowerPoint (double-click the following link)

Identifying Imagery in
Poetry.pptx

 21 copies of Imagery Practice Worksheet (double-click the following link)

Imagery Practice
Worksheet.docx

ALIGNMENT WITH KANSAS STANDARDS FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS


 L.9-10.5a – Interpret figurative language in context and analyze its role in the text.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Before teaching this lesson, it might be useful for the teacher to know how much previous exposure the
students have had to poetry and to the terminology in this lesson (imagery, simile, metaphor).

ENGAGEMENT
1) Start the lesson by posing a simple question to the students: “By a show of hands, how many of you like
or enjoy reading poetry?”
2) Add a follow-up question: “When you were in eighth grade last year, did you all read any poetry or are
you pretty unfamiliar with it?”
3) Provide a personal example (assuming the students say they don’t like poetry): “When I was in high
school, I felt the exact same way you all do. I hated poetry. I loved my English classes (that’s partly why
I decided to become an English teacher), but poetry was the one thing I never enjoyed. A lot of people
don’t like poetry and they don’t understand it because it isn’t covered as much in English classes as
novels or plays are.”
4) Transition to exploration section of the lesson: “With that being said, it’s important for you all to gain
experience reading and interpreting poetry. The more poetry you read, the better you’re going to
understand it, so that’s why we’re going to look at some poems today.”

EXPLORATION
1) With the first slide of the PowerPoint pulled up, tell the students that the focus of the lesson will be
imagery in poetry.
2) Moving on to the second slide, ask if anyone knows what imagery is.
3) After the students have answered, display the definition of imagery on the second slide: “Poetry
describes something in a way that is different from other writing. Poets use imagery to create mental
pictures. Imagery helps the reader picture or feel what the poet is describing.”
4) Tell the students that imagery includes words that appeal to our senses: “Poems often include words that
help you imagine what something looks, feels, smells, sounds, or tastes like.”
5) Provide an example of imagery in a sentence: “The giant tree was ablaze with the orange, red, and
yellow leaves that were beginning to make their descent to the ground.”
6) Moving on to the third slide, ask the students to follow along as you read the poem displayed on the
PowerPoint, “Poetry” by Eleanor Farjeon.
7) After you have read the poem, pose a question to the students: “What senses does this poem talk about?”
8) Once the students have had the chance to offer input, display the answers on the PowerPoint: smell (the
scent of the rose), sight (light in the sky, gleam of the fly), and hearing (sound of the sea).
9) Moving on to the fourth slide, inform the students that similes are a type of imagery. Ask if anyone can
define the term.
10) After the students have answered, display the definition of simile on the PowerPoint: “A simile is a way
of comparing two things. Similes always use the clue words like or as. Similes help the reader to form a
mental picture.”
11) Provide an example of a simile: “You may read, ‘the dog was big.’ However, if you read, ‘The dog was
as big as a pony,’ you have a better sense of how big that dog really was.”
12) Moving on to the fifth slide, ask the students to follow along as you read the poem displayed on the
PowerPoint, “The Old Men Admiring Themselves in the Water” by William Butler Yeats.
13) After you have read the poem, pose a question to the students: “What are the old men’s knees being
compared to?”
14) Once the students have had the chance to respond, display the answer on the PowerPoint: old thorn-
trees.
15) Pose a second question to the students: “What are the old men’s hands being compared to?”
16) Once the students have had the chance to respond, display the answer on the PowerPoint: claws.
17) Pose a third question to the students: “What mental picture do you get when you read the line, ‘All that’s
beautiful drifts away like the waters.”?
18) Once the students have had the chance to respond, display a possible answer on the PowerPoint: “The
mental picture is of something beautiful being carried away in a river or stream.”
19) Moving on to the sixth slide, inform the students that metaphors are another type of imagery. Ask if
anyone can define the term, reminding them that metaphors are similar to similes.
20) After the students have answered, display the definition of metaphor on the PowerPoint: “Another way
poets create images is by using metaphors. Like similes, metaphors are used to compare two things.
However, metaphors do not use the words like or as.”
21) Provide an example of a metaphor: “If the poem about old men had used a metaphor to describe the old
men, it might have said, ‘Their hands were claws.’ A metaphor compares two things by saying one thing
is the other thing.”
22) Moving on to the seventh slide, ask the students to follow along as you read the poem displayed on the
PowerPoint, “I Am What You Make Me (The Flag Speaks)” by Franklin K. Lane.
23) After you have read the poem, ask the students to name four things that the flag is being compared to.
24) Once the students have had the chance to respond, display possible answers on the PowerPoint: song,
fear, struggle, panic, and hope.
25) Pose a question to the students: “Because the flag is the speaker in the poem, what is the flag being
compared to?”
26) Once the students have had the chance to respond, display possible answers on the PowerPoint: anyone
who lives in the United States; the thoughts and feelings of a person living in the United States;
patriotism.
27) Moving on to the eighth slide, ask the students if they are ready to practice identifying imagery on their
own. Ask if they have any questions.
28) Explain the format of the assignment as you pass the imagery practice worksheet out.
APPLICATION
Students will apply what they have learned by completing a practice worksheet (see attached) on
imagery. Of the 10 questions on the worksheet, questions 1-6 are based on an excerpt from Douglas
Malloch’s “Waking of a City,” and questions 7-10 are based on the poem “Dreams” by Langston
Hughes. All of the questions are multiple-choice.

CLOSURE
1) While passing the worksheet out, remind the students that imagery pertains to the five senses: sight,
touch, smell, sound, and taste.
2) Also, remind the students that imagery often appears in the form of similes and metaphors. Similes make
comparisons using the words like or as, and metaphors make comparisons without the use of those two
words. Instead, metaphors often use the words is, are, was, or were.

EVALUATION
 Students should be able to identify similes, metaphors, and other forms of imagery when they complete
a practice worksheet of 10 multiple-choice questions.
 Students in 1st hour will work independently on the assignment.
 Students in 2nd hour will work in groups on the assignment.
 Each multiple-choice question will be worth 1 point, making the assignment worth a total of 10 points.

DIFFERENTIATION
 This lesson ensures that all learning styles (auditory, visual, and tactile) are supported. Auditory learners
will benefit from the discussion-based nature of the lesson. Visual learners will have the PowerPoint as a
guide during the discussion, and they will benefit from the various pictures on the slides. Tactile learners
will get to put their acquired knowledge into practice by identifying imagery themselves on the
worksheet.
 Modifications: For students who might struggle with the worksheet, one incorrect answer will be
eliminated on each of the multiple-choice questions. For students who need a challenge greater than the
worksheet affords, a short, additional assignment on imagery that is not multiple-choice will be
provided.

REFERENCES
Lesson 16 in Steck-Vaughn Building Strategies: Reading
Publisher: Steck-Vaughn Company, a division of Harcourt Brace & Company
Publication date: 1996