Analysis Lesson Using Poetry

Preinstructional Planning


Students will:


During Instruction

Set Up

Make class sets of the poem, the Poetry Reading Strategies printable, and the Inference Graphic Organizer printable.

Lesson Directions

Step 1: Tell students they will be learning strategies to help them appreciate poetry and read poetry more effectively.

Step 2: Discuss the following strategies and their importance with your students. I usually make a class set of the Poetry Reading Strategies printable and pass them out to students to refer to while I am discussing.

  1. Preview the poem and read it aloud a few times. I tell them that reading a poem aloud a few times can help them get an overall feel for the language, rhyme, and rhythm of the poem. 
  2. Visualize the images, clarify words and phrases. When I discuss visualizing, I ask the students what does the quotation "there are pictures in poems and poems in pictures" mean. Visualizing is when the author paints a picture in your head.
  3. Evaluate the poem's theme, and allow your understanding to grow. Explain to students that when you make an inference, you are "reading between the lines." In order to make an inference, you pay close attention to the details in the poem to make a logical assumption. An inference is a logical judgment based on a writer's words as well as your own knowledge and experience. Remind students to think about what the poet is trying to help them understand. Does it connect to anything in their lives?

Step 3: Read the poem "I'm Nobody! Who Are You?" by Emily Dickinson.

Step 4: Apply the strategies when reading and discussing the poem. For example, discuss the number of lines and stanzas, listen for rhyme and rhythm, etc.

Step 5: Discuss unfamiliar words in poem, such as "dreary" and "bog." Look them up in the dictionaries if necessary.

Step 6: Give each student an Inference Graphic Organizer printable. Tell them to choose three descriptive statements from the poem and write an inference for each statement.

Step 7: Encourage students to draw illustrations to accompany their inferences.

Step 8: Discuss students' inferences as a class.


Supporting All Learners

Students need to be able to infer in all subject areas and in real life. Graphic organizers appeal to visual/spatial learners and discussion benefits verbal learners.

Lesson Extensions

Students can research Emily Dickinson and her poetry.

Home Connections

Students will discuss with parents or guardian the following question: What are the pros and cons of being well-known and of being unknown?


Post Instructional


Are the students able to apply the reading strategies to help them analyze and understand poetry?

Lesson Assessment

Poetry Reading Strategies:

Analysis Graphic Organizer: