ALEX Lesson Plan


Understanding Poetry: Annotating Puritan Poetry

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Susanne Harrison
System: Elmore County
School: Stanhope Elmore High School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 33051


Understanding Poetry: Annotating Puritan Poetry


This lesson is part of a larger unit dealing with Early American Literature. In this lesson, students will become familiar with the figurative devices and strategies used by 17th Century Puritan poets when creating closed or fixed form poetry. 

This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
ELA2015 (10)
1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. [RL.9-10.1]
ELA2015 (10)
8. Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work (e.g., how Shakespeare treats a theme or topic from Ovid or the Bible or how early American authors draw upon the Bible for religious themes and issues). [RL.9-10.9] (Alabama)
ELA2015 (10)
9. By the end of Grade 10, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of the Grades 9-10 text complexity band independently and proficiently. [RL.9-10.10]
ELA2015 (10)
26. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology's capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically. [W.9-10.6]
ELA2015 (10)
29. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. [W.9-10.9]
a. Apply Grade 10 Reading standards to literature (e.g., "Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work [e.g., how Shakespeare treats a theme or topic from Ovid or the Bible or how a later author draws on a play by Shakespeare"]. [W.9-10.9a]
b. Apply Grade 10 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., "Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning"). [W.9-10.9b]
ELA2015 (10)
31. Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on Grade 10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. [SL.9-10.1]
a. Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas. [SL.9-10.1a]
b. Work with peers to set rules for collegial discussions and decision-making (e.g., informal consensus, taking votes on key issues, presentation of alternate views), clear goals and deadlines, and individual roles as needed. [SL.9-10.1b]
c. Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions. [SL.9-10.1c]
d. Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented. [SL.9-10.1d]
ELA2015 (10)
41. Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings. [L.9-10.5]
a. Interpret figures of speech (e.g., euphemism, oxymoron) in context and analyze their role in the text. [L.9-10.5a]
b. Analyze nuances in the meaning of words with similar denotations. [L.9-10.5b]

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will be able to:

  • Locate the following devices used in a meditation poem. (true rhyme, eye rhyme, apostrophe, metaphor, repetition, personification, and allusion)
  • Determine the rhyme scheme of a selected meditation poem.
  • Explain the meaning and/or significance of the metaphors, allusions, and repetition in a selected meditation poem.
  • "Map out" the iambic pentameter used in Puritan meditation poetry.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

At the conclusion of this unit of study, students will create their own meditation poem adhering to the following requirements:

  1. Must be in aabbcc rhyme scheme.
  2. Must be six lines long.
  3. Final couplet must summarize the entire poem.
  4. Must contain one metaphor and apostrophe.
 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

61 to 90 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Technology Resources Needed:

Teacher access to interactive whiteboard (if one is available)

Student access to a computer, PowerPoint, and/or a flashdrive (You may choose to use mybigcampus or other LMS)


Prior to this lesson, students should be familiar with the major characteristics of Puritan society and writing. The students should also be familiar with key literary devices that will be used in this lesson--metaphor, extended metaphor, apostrophe, alliteration, allusion, types of rhyme, rhyme scheme, poetic meter, and personification.

Also, the teacher must prepare "Meditation 4" template for students to annotate while going through lesson. Teacher must select five meditation poems for students to annotate independently.


1. Prior to the lesson, students should be arranged into pairs.

2. Distribute student copies of "Mediation 4" by Philip Pain.

3. Student will read "Meditation 4" in pairs and discuss the meaning of the poem.  

4. Teacher will allow student pairs to share their thoughts concerning the poem with the class.

5. In pairs, each group is responsible for finding a pair of literary devices. Device slips indicating which devices the group will find should be distributed to each group. (Example: Group One-metaphor and true rhyme; Group Two-Eye Rhyme and Apostprophe) Make certain that one group maps out the rhyme scheme, and one group maps out the rhythm of the poem. Each group is to write an explanation of how/why Philip Pain used the literary devices. 

6. After students have worked together, review how to annotate the poem using PowerPoint and allow students to share their responses as we go through the poem. 

7. At the conclusion of this exercise, each student should create his/her own PowerPoint presentation (slide) demonstrating how to annotate a Philip Pain meditation poem.

**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.

Assessment Strategies

Each group will turn in its "Meditation 4" annotation and literary device explanations.

Each student will create and submit a PowerPoint presentation in which the student annotates and explains how Philip Pain used true rhyme, eye rhyme, apostrophe, metaphor, repetition, personification, and allusion. The students must also determine the rhyme scheme of his/her selected meditation poem. Explain the meaning and/or significance of the metaphors, allusions, and repetition in the selected meditation poem.


Students can apply the strategies in this lesson to the annotation and/or analysis of any closed-form poem--specifically "To My Dear and Loving Husband" by Anne Bradstreet.



Students will be grouped according to skill level as a means of increasing participation and mastery from weaker students.  

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.