Produced for K-12 educators, Teach This Poem features one poem a week from our online poetry collection, accompanied by interdisciplinary resources and activities designed to help teachers quickly and easily bring poetry into the classroom. The series is written by our Educator in Residence, Dr. Madeleine Fuchs Holzer, and is available for free via email.
This image is in the public domain.
- Show your students the image of ruins and flowers. Let them look at it for several minutes, and ask them to write down what they notice. Make sure they remember to include details and not just general statements.
- Ask your students to turn and talk with a partner about the details that they just wrote down. Ask them to come up with one list of details on which they can agree. Why do they think the photographer chose to include these particular details?
- Project “Lines Written in Early Spring” by William Wordsworth so all your students can see it. Ask them to read the poem silently and write down the words and phrases that jump out to them. Ask one student to read the poem aloud to the whole class while the listeners add to their list of words and phrases. Repeat this process with a second student reading aloud.
- Ask your students to look at the poem again. What do they see in the structure of the poem that jumps out at them? Ask them to get back with their partners to share the words, phrases, and structure that they noticed.
- Ask your students to gather in groups of four to discuss what Wordsworth is comparing. Make sure they cite evidence in the poem to back up their interpretations.
- Whole-class discussion: What do your students think Wordsworth is trying to say? What evidence do they have that he is trying to say it? What structure does he use to say it? What is the rhyme scheme? What do they think “man has made of man?”