Teach This Poem is a weekly series featuring a poem from our online poetry collection, accompanied by interdisciplinary resources and activities designed to help K-12 teachers quickly and easily bring poetry into the classroom.

Featured Poem

Video of a Sunrise


video of a sunrise

Watch this video of a sunrise.

Classroom Activities
  1. Warm-up (whip around): Share one word that comes to mind when you think of dawn. (Teachers, create a list of shared answers on the board.)

  2. Before Reading the Poem (pair share): Watch the video of a sunrise here. What do you notice? What sounds do you hear? Share these observations with a partner.

  3. Reading the Poem: Read the poem “Aubade” by Camille Rankine 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. 

  4. Listening to the Poem: Listen as the poem is read aloud twice, once by a student and once by the poet. Write down any additional words and phrases that stand out to you. Call back the lines that you like by saying these lines aloud with your partner.

  5. Small-group Discussion: Share what you noticed in the poem with your partner and another pair of students. Based on these details, what connections can you make between the poem and the video?

  6. Whole-class Discussion: How would you describe the tone in the poem? Why? (Teachers, share that an aubade is usually a song or poem greeting the morning while also lamenting the farewell of the nighttime, and that sometimes an aubade is spoken by a lover who must leave at dawn.) How might this poem be a greeting or lamenting of the morning? What could be the significance of the first line?

  7. Extension for Grades 7-8 and Extension for Grades 9-12: Continue studying aubades by reading “Aubade: Some Peaches, After the Storm” by Carl Phillips and “The Sun Rising” by John Donne. Write a paragraph about which one is your favorite and why.