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

Two Roads
Look closely at this photo by David Robinson. 


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: Draw what comes to mind when you hear this line: “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.” Share your drawing with your classmates. What did you choose to draw and why? 
  2. Before Reading the Poem: (think-pair-share) With a partner, look closely at this photo. What do you notice? Which path would you choose to walk down? Why? What do you think the phrase “the road not taken” means? 
  3. Reading the Poem: Now, silently read the poem “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. 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 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. Or, you can opt to listen to a reading of the poem.
  5. Small-group Discussion: Share what you noticed about the poem with a small group of students. Based on the details you just shared with your small group and the resources from the beginning of class, what do you think that the title “The Road Not Taken” means now? How does the title of the poem impact your reading? How might the poem be different without the title? 
  6. Whole-class Discussion: How would you describe the narrator? What do you notice about the structure and rhyme scheme of the poem? What do you think of the ending of the poem? 
  7. Extension for Grades 7-8: Join with a partner or small group and generate a list of different titles for the poem. Share with your classmates and decide on your favorite titles. Choose one or more of the titles, or use “The Road Not Taken” and write your own poem. 
  8. Extension for Grades 9-12: Prepare for a Socratic seminar about “The Road Not Taken” by reading the essay “The Road Not Taken: The Poem Everyone Loves and Everyone Gets Wrong” and writing your own response.
More Context for Teachers

Find more lesson plans featuring classic poems ranging from Romanticism to Modernism with this round-up, including poems by Dylan ThomasEmily DickinsonEdgar Allan Poe, and others. 

Poetry Glossary

Metaphor: a comparison between essentially unlike things, or the application of a name or description to something to which it is not literally applicable. Read more.