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Poetry & Culture Analysis for High School ELA
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Poetry & Culture Analysis for High School ELA


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Grade Level Grades 9-10
Resource Type Lesson Plan
Standards Alignment
Common Core State Standards

About This Lesson

Access Free Lesson Plan Here

In this lesson, students analyze the poem “Tell Them” by Marshallese poet Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner and write their own poem that reflects their culture, their homeland, and the way they have been affected by climate change.

Step 1 - Inquire: Students identify the Marshall Islands on a map, reflect on the title of the poem “Tell Them,” and listen to a recitation by the poet.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students analyze how elements such as figurative language and imagery in the poem evoke the poet’s culture, homeland, and the impact of climate change.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students use “Tell Them” as a model to write their own poem that connects to their culture, home, and experience of climate change.

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Analyze the use of figurative language and word choice in a poem.
  • Identify cultural artifacts that convey a culture’s values and perspectives.
  • Understand the impact of climate change on culture and identity.
  • Write a poem that incorporates figurative language and elements from their own culture to express their experience of climate change.

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Tell Them.pdf

Lesson Plan
January 12, 2024
940.32 KB


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).
By the end of grade 9, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 9–10 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at the high end of the grades 9–10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.


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