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.

Featured Poem

Related Resource

Listen to the song “Meet Me By the Water.”

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 about 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: (free-write/draw) Write or draw to finish this sentence “I dream a world…” What might you dream for the world? If you feel comfortable, share with a partner. 

  2. Before Reading the Poem: Listen to the song “Meet Me By the Water.” What does the song make you think? How does the song make you feel?

  3. Reading the Poem: Read the poem “Nimbawaadaan Akiing / I Dream a World” by Margaret Noodin 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 (enlist two volunteers to read the poem aloud, or listen to Noodin read the poem): Listen as the poem is read aloud twice, and write down any additional words and phrases that stand out to you. 

  5. 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 and your activities from the beginning of class, what does the speaker envision for the future? How does that compare to your vision from the beginning of class and the resource? 

  6. Whole-class Discussion: How does the repetition of the line “I dream a world” impact your reading of the poem? How might the poem be different without it? Read this “About the Poem” statement from the poet. What else does this statement make you think about? 

  7. Extension for Grades 7-8: Think back to your drawing or writing from the beginning of class. Continue to expand on your vision for a future world. What do you want the world to include? Create a piece of art (i.e., poem, song, collage, photograph, etc.) that embodies your vision and share with the class. 

  8. Extension for Grades 9-12: In honor of Native American Heritage Month, continue reading more Native American poets. Choose three or more poets and create a class anthology with your poets.
More Context for Teachers

“The Ojibwe language has historically been repressed by policymakers and educators in the U.S. and Canada, though there are many, complex reasons why fewer people today speak Ojibwe.” Explore the variety and different dialects of this endangered language with students with The Ojibwe People’s Dictionary, a searchable, talking Ojibwe-English dictionary that features the voices of Ojibwe speakers. 

Poetry Glossary

A couplet is two successive lines of poetry. It can stand as an epigram­matic poem on its own, a weapon for aphoristic wit, or serve as an organizing pattern. Read more.