Skip to product information
1 of 18

Rigorous Resources

American Poetry Unit | Discussion Questions & Writing Assignments on 5 American Poets

American Poetry Unit | Discussion Questions & Writing Assignments on 5 American Poets

Regular price $9.99 USD
Regular price Sale price $9.99 USD
Sale Sold out
Shipping calculated at checkout.

This high-school poetry bundle features a total of 50 poems by some of the best writers in the history of American poetry: Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, and Gwendolyn Brooks. The poems are divided into 5 mini-units which can be used in sequence over 2 weeks. 

The unit features hundreds of discussion questions on individual poems, ten quizzes on poetic devices, five sample papers to model how students should write about poetry, and lots more!

This poetry curriculum promises to elicit dynamic engagement from all students without compromising on intellectual rigor. The literary devices quizzes, discussion prompts, and analytical writing assignment will challenge your students to dig beneath the surface of the text and generate profound interpretive insights!!


Here are some highlights from this 190-page curriculum:

 Homework Packets with Poems (10 Packets, 50 Poems): This bundle features eight homework packets, each containing 5 of the best poems by Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, and Gwendolyn Brooks. The poems will set the stage for your class to have fascinating and profoundly productive discussions!! (50 pages)

 Literary Devices Glossary: A glossary with definitions and examples of the various types of figurative language, imagery, stanzas, and syntactic devices. Many teachers already have a glossary of literary devices, but I'm providing this in case you need one. (2 pages)

 Literary Devices Quizzes: A total of eight quizzes, each with 10 questions about a wide range of literary devices: metaphor, personification, symbolism, imagery, alliteration, etc. Open each class with a quiz to assess whether your students can accurately identify the literary devices used in the poems from the homework packets. Answer keys included. (20 pages).

 Discussion Questions: This bundle features a list of discussion questions for the first poem in each of the homework packets. The discussion questions will ensure that every class discussion starts on a productive foot. Every discussion question is grounded in concrete textual details and challenges students to arrive at lucid interpretive insights! The questions lend themselves to a range of different pedagogical uses: 1) to focus students’ thinking prior to beginning a discussion, 2) to prompt in-class writing, 3) to assign written reflections for homework, etc. Guaranteed to elicit student engagement and foster deep thinking! Answer keys included. (60 pages)

 Quick Writes: The quick writes give students an opportunity to capture and refine the best ideas generated in the discussion. Quick writes can also help reticent students to gather their thoughts so they'll feel ready and eager to contribute. (20 pages)

 Analytical Writing Assignment: Challenge students to take their interpretations one step further by writing an analytical paper on a poem of their choice. The assignment sheet contains detailed instructions for how to generate a formalist analysis of a poem (analyzing how the poem's formal features contribute to its meaning). This kind of formalist analysis is exactly what students are asked to generate on the AP Literature exam! Sample papers included. (15 pages)


The entire packet of resources will come to you in two separate formats: Word docs and PDFs. Because the Word docs are fully editable, you'll be able to customize the materials to suit your teaching style and/or the skill levels of your students — year after year! Teachers who don't have Microsoft Word will still be able to access the entire unit as a series of PDFs, which are easy to navigate and quick to print.

I'm eager to do everything I can to make sure you have an amazing experience with American poetry. If you have any questions along the way, please don't hesitate to get in touch via the email address below. Thank you for choosing Rigorous Resources!


Happy teaching!

Adam Jernigan, Ph.D.

View full details