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.

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Featured Poem

Related Resource

Solar eclipse video

Watch this video about solar eclipses.

Classroom Activities

The following activities and questions are designed to help your students use their noticing skills to move through the poem and develop their thinking skills so they understand its meaning with confidence, using what they’ve noticed as evidence for their interpretations. Read more about the framework upon which these activities are based.

  1. Warm-up: (Teachers, prior to this lesson, you may want to partner with a science teacher and/or teach some of these mini-lessons.) Watch this video about solar eclipses. After watching, share something that you learned or found interesting.

  2. Before Reading the Poem: Find out more about the upcoming solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. Share with a partner or small group: did you learn anything else about solar eclipses? 

  3. Reading the Poem: Silently read “Eclipse Season” by Tracy Fuad. What do you notice about the poem? Note any words or phrases that stand out to you or any questions you might have. 

  4. Listening to the Poem: Enlist two volunteers and listen as the poem is read aloud twice, and write down any additional words and phrases that stand out to you. Or, you can opt to listen to the poet read the poem

  5. Small Group Discussion: Share what you noticed about the poem with a small group. How does the poem connect to the resource and discussion from the beginning of class? What does this poem say about heartbreak, nature, and/or eclipses? What might an eclipse season represent? 

  6. Whole Class Discussion: Read the definition of pantoum. How does this inform your reading of the poem? Where do you see repetition in the poem? What do you make of the repetition? 

  7. Extension for Grades 7-8: If you are able to safely watch the eclipse, watch with a friend, classmate, or family member. Be sure that you use safety glasses, which you can find out more about here. Or, watch a video of the solar eclipse. Write a line inspired by what you saw. Join with a partner or small group and use your lines to try composing a pantoum. Share your poem with a classmate. 

  8. Extension for Grades 9-12: Read the “About this Poem” statement: “I wrote this poem thinking about received forms, poetic and otherwise, and the garbling effect that happens in the game of ‘telephone,’ in translation, and in the inheritance of language, tradition, or culture. I had just witnessed the 2017 total solar eclipse and was moved by the sight of an astronomical event that occurred on a fixed schedule, without permutation, with or without witness, long predating human history, and certainly outlasting us: so immutable compared to the loud human disarray of failed communications, failed relationships, failed states. And how still, the pain of heartbreak always eclipses all of that.” What is your response to what the poet refers to as “failed communications, failed relationships, [and] failed states”? Or, what might an eclipse season mean to you? Write your response and share with the class.


Teach This Poem was developed for in-person classrooms, but it can be easily adapted for remote learning and hybrid learning models. Please see our list of suggestions for how to adapt this lesson for remote or blended learning. 

More Context for Teachers

Use our glossary of poetic termslesson planspoems for kids, or other teacher resources to bring poetry into your classroom this National Poetry Month. 

Poetry Glossary

Pantoum: a poem of any length, composed of four-line stanzas in which the second and fourth lines of each stanza serve as the first and third lines of the next stanza. The last line of a pantoum is often the same as the first. Read more