I was feeling inspired by the winter and started researching classic poems about the season. What I came to realize is that winter is a polarizing season-- people either love it or hate it-- and writers reflect this in their work. Winter is complex. While the snow and ice bring much beauty, that beauty represents death and destruction. And so, many writers have found winter (as well as spring) to be powerful tools in symbolizing both positive and negative thematic claims.
In this unit, I have included TEN poems by classic authors that involve winter in some respect. Some poems use winter to symbolize absence, others age, and still others unity. Five of these poems have a more positive representation of winter while the remaining five have a more negative representation of winter-- however, this is debatable! And that is exactly what students are going to do!
Students are to:
1. Annotate the poems using the TPCASTT chart included.
2. Categorize the poems as either having a positive view of winter or a negative view of winter.
3. Debate the view of winter in one or more poems.
4. Write an explication essay on a winter poem of their choice-- sample essays, assignment, and rubric included!
5. Create a group presentation in which they compare/contrast two winter poems of their choice-- assignment and rubric included!
6. Write their own original winter poem along with an explication paragraph in which they explain how they communicate their thematic claim through selected literary devices-- assignment, student sample, and rubric included!
This unit is modifiable for students of all levels and can also be shortened into a few days or extended into a few weeks. Teachers can choose which poems and activities to complete with their classes and really delve into this season that brings unity amidst destruction.
I have also included my annotation notes for ALL TEN POEMS!!! Use these to guide discussions or to modify lessons for your students. Please note that my annotations do not represent the only possible interpretations of these poems and that my classification of poems is highly debatable!!
Common Core Standards are included on the assignment sheets throughout this packet! This is a great unit to target nearly 100% of the Common Core!!