Connotation, Denotation, and Figurative Language in "The Sea" by J. Reeves
“The Sea” by James Reeves is OFTEN used in state tests, worksheets, and anthologies. It is short, but provides a lot to discuss. It is straightforward, and yet still complex. The imagery is superb. Almost all of it is within the grasp of the student, and yet there are parts that need discussion to be revealed. All in all, it is a perfect poem to use with a class!

Due to copyright laws, I am unable to include the poem. It is easy to find and is likely in your anthology.

Included is a lesson plan originally written for 7th graders- appropriate for grades 6-12.

This is a PowerPoint, lesson plan AND worksheet. The PowerPoint includes:
the Essential Question
Activating Strategy
Defined vocabulary and

Students will learn figurative language, metaphor and simile. They will see examples and create some new ones. Next, they will learn denotation and connotation. Again, they will see examples and try their hand at examples. Finally, they will apply this knowledge to the poem, "The Sea" by James Reeves.

After reading through once, students will answer questions about the first stanza and discuss. Then, the teacher (and PowerPoint) will guide them to answer the essential question based on the first stanza.
The second stanza will be read, questions will be answered, and the essential question will be attempted again, discussed and perfected.
Finally, the third stanza will be the focus of the assessment. The students will again read and answer questions, but this time, the students will be expected to use the strategy taught (re-read, locate, investigate and compare) to answer the essential question on their own.

There are more slides after the poem study is over, including an activity to write the poem in as few words as possible (to illustrate how word choice is important) as well as an exit ticket.

I hope you enjoy this lesson!
Thank you!
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  • 81-Connotation-Denotation-in-THE-SEA.pptx
  • 81-Connotation-in-The-Sea.docx

About this resource


Created: May 19, 2017

Updated: Feb 22, 2018


pptx, 3 MB


Lesson Plan

docx, 80 KB


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