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.

Featured Poem

Classroom Activities

Ask your students to bring in a photograph of themselves when they were at least several years younger than they are now.

  1. Have your students break into pairs and exchange photographs with their partner. Each student should write down what they notice in the photograph. What can they learn about their partner from what they noticed? What is their evidence?
  2. Ask each student to look carefully at their partner and to write down what they notice about them. How have they changed over time? What makes them the same person? What makes them different?
  3. Ask your students to read Natasha Trethewey’s poem silently to themselves, circling words and phrases that jump out to them. Ask two of your students to read the poem aloud, one after the other. What do they hear differently when the poem is read aloud?
  4. Have your students listen to the audio recording of Natasha Trethewey reading her poem. (Click the audio icon on the poem above to listen to audio.) How does the poet’s reading change their understanding of the poem?
  5. What is Natasha Trethewey saying about time and space? How is it similar to and different from what a scientist might say on the subject?