Teach This Poem, though developed with a classroom in mind, can be easily adapted for remote learning, hybrid learning models, or in-person classes. Please see our suggestions for how to adapt this lesson for remote or blended learning. We have also noted suggestions when applicable and will continue to add to these suggestions online.
Lithograph print "Waking Up" by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Warm-up: Draw an image of something you look forward to in the mornings. Feel free to depict a school day or a weekend. Share your drawing with a partner and discuss briefly how your mornings might have changed or stayed the same this school year.
Before Reading the Poem: Look closely at the image of the lithograph print “Waking Up” by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec here. What do you notice? Look again. What else do you see? How does this image compare to your drawing? Why? How might the person in the image feel about getting up and starting the day?
Reading the Poem: Read the poem “Another Day” by Craig Morgan Teicher silently. What do you notice about the poem? Annotate for any words or phrases that stand out to you or any questions you might have.
Listening to the Poem (enlist two volunteers to read the poem aloud): Listen as the poem is read aloud twice, and write down any additional words and phrases that stand out to you.
Small-group Discussion: Share what you noticed in the poem with a small group of students. Based on the details you just shared with your small group, what are the different types of mornings compared in the poem? What images stand out to you in the poem?
Whole-class Discussion: The poem is written in quatrains. As a class, take turns re-reading aloud the quatrains. How do the final two quatrains shift the poem?
Extension for Grades 7-8: What has been difficult for you or others in your family this year? Why? Re-read the lines about “the wet shirt / of one’s identity” again. What has been a figurative and literal “wet shirt” for you this year? Why? As we start another year, what are you looking forward to? Write a short paragraph about your hopes for 2021.
Extension for Grades 9-12: Think back to Toulouse-Lautrec’s print of the person sleeping. What else might happen in this person’s day? Tell this person’s story from morning to night.
Teachers, as we begin another season of Teach This Poem, we hope you’ll take a minute to explore the guides we’ve put together on how to best use this resource in the classroom, including this introduction to the program, these suggestions for adapting Teach This Poem to remote or hybrid learning, this essay about the importance of teaching poetic sensibility, and this video guide to teaching Teach This Poem.