Skip to content
Home » Blog » 13 Poetry Lesson Plans For High School

13 Poetry Lesson Plans For High School

    high school poetry unit

    Teach your students what a poem is as well as all the important information necessary while teaching poetry, like: vocabulary, sound devices, types of poetry, figurative language, how to analyze a poem, and how to find rhyme scheme.

    In this resource, you will receive a packet of graphic organizers/guided notes along with a Powerpoint lesson that teaches the following terminology:


    poem, speaker, line, stanza, quatrain, couplet, cinquain, tercet, refrain, symbol, theme, mood

    tone, imagery, juxtaposition, oxymoron, pun, paradox, allusion, proverb, foot, iamb, iambic pentameter, enjambment, anaphora, metonymy


    simile, metaphor, personification, idiom, hyperbole, irony


    rhyme, rhyme scheme, slant rhyme, rhythm, meter, alliteration, consonance, assonance, onomatopoeia, repetition


    narrative, lyrical, haiku, ballad, sonnet, limerick, free verse, acrostic, concrete, blank verse, blues poem, elegy, ode, prose, villanelle



    This resource includes a copy of the poem “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe and 26 close reading questions. The analysis includes an in-depth look at academic vocabulary, poetic devices, and literary elements in the poem. (An answer key is also provided.)

    Poetic and Literary Devices Covered in this Activity:

    • allusion
    • alliteration
    • symbolism
    • rhyme scheme
    • repetition
    • mood
    • tone
    • imagery
    • gothic literature
    • theme

    In this poetry analysis activity, your students will read and answer questions regarding the famous poem “To an Athlete Dying Young” by A. E. Housman. Next, your students will listen to the song “If I Die Young” by The Band Perry that carries a similar message. Then, students will take a closer look at how these two texts relate. Comparing and contrasting these paired texts will help your students better understand point of view, tone, mood, and theme!

    Add music to make poetry fun for students!

    This resource includes:

    • Full text of the poem “To an Athlete Dying Young” by A. E. Housman
    • Analysis questions for the poem “To an Athlete Dying Young”
    • Song analysis questions based on the lyrics “If I Die Young” by The Band Perry
    • Compare and contrast question about the song and poem
    • EDITABLE copy of the questions so you can make modifications if needed
    • ANSWER KEYS for everything

    In this Paired Texts Poetry Analysis, your students will analyze the two poems: “An Obstacle” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman & “Do not go gentle into that good night” by Dylan Thomas.

    This resource includes:

    • Full text of “An Obstacle” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (Due to copyright law, I am unable to provide a full text of the poem “Do not go gentle into that good night” by Dylan Thomas)
    • Graphic Organizer that closely examines both poems for: meaning, tone, figurative language, setting, imagery, and theme (PDF)
    • Answer key for poem analyses
    • Constructed Response task which requires students to develop an answer in paragraph form. (The first CR question asks students to compare the themes in each poem. The second CR question requires students to personally connect with the theme.)
    • Editable copy (word document) of the poetry analysis graphic organizer

    As your students watch the 1989 Film Dead Poets Society (directed by Peter Weir), have them answer these film analysis questions to help them better comprehend and understand the film’s meaning and purpose. Additionally, have them personally connect to the theme of the film by writing their own free verse poem in response to Walt Whitman’s poem “O Me! O Life!” The film is 2 hours and 8 minutes in length.

    Included in this lesson:

    • 22 Comprehension and Analysis questions based on the film “Dead Poets Society” — these questions require students to connect to the characters in the film and use inferencing skills
    • Answer key to the film’s analysis questions
    • Free Verse Writing Activity: prompt and rubric in response to Walt Whitman’s poem “O Me! O Life!”
    • Editable copy of the lesson for teachers to make modifications if needed

    Teach your students all about Sonnets with a unique analysis of William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 138.

    1) First, use the Powerpoint presentation to familiarize your students with:

    • Sonnet definition and structure
    • Shakespearean Sonnets
    • Petrarchan Sonnets
    • Spenserian Sonnets
    • Miltonic Sonnets
    • Iambic pentameter
    • Volta
    • Two-part thematic Structure
    • Rhyme Scheme

    Guided notes worksheet included!

    2) Then, have your students analyze Shakespeare’s Sonnet 138 by answering comprehension and literary analysis questions. Answer key included!

    3) Lastly, have your students write their own original Shakespearean Sonnet. Directions and guidelines included.

    Students will read and analyze the famous poem by John Keats, “Ode On A Grecian Urn.” This resource is great for any poetry unit!

    This lesson includes:

    • Full text of the poem “Ode On A Grecian Urn”
    • 14 Questions about the poem: a mix of comprehension and literary analysis questions
    • Answer key
    • Write Your Own Ode Poem Activity for Students (Directions and Requirements)
    • EDITABLE Word Document so you can make modifications if you wish to

    Teach your students all about Blackout Poetry with this fun lesson and activity!

    In this resource, you will receive:

    • Teacher Guide
    • Powerpoint lesson on Blackout Poetry with step by step directions for students to create their own blackout poems in a variety of ways
    • 10 Examples of blackout poems
    • 40 Pages of printable texts your students can use to make their own poetry
    • Editable word document Rubric and Prompt for students

    In this High School Poetry Packet, your students will read, study, and analyze six famous poems! Perfect for any Poetry Unit!

    This packet is a wonderful tool because you can have students complete the literary analysis questions in a variety of ways: whole-class, independently, or collaboratively.

    The 6 poems included in this packet are:

    • Sonnet V by Shakespeare
    • “Fire and Ice” by Robert Frost
    • “I’m happiest when most away” by Emily Brontë
    • “The Tyger” by William Blake
    • “When I have Fears That I May Cease to Be” by John Keats
    • “If” by Rudyard Kipling

    In this packet, students will work on poetry skills such as: rhyme scheme, rhyme, imagery, assonance, consonance, caesura, anaphora, alliteration, theme, tone, mood, personification, enjambment, connotation, and more.

    Poetry Digital Escape Room — Robert Frost Poem Analysis & Comprehension Game

    Your students are going to love this Poetry Digital Escape Room! Students will read and analyze the poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost.

    They will solve puzzles in this peaceful scene of snowy woods, glistening mountaintops, and a beautiful, serene frozen lake. In this 360° digital escape room, students will try to escape the woods before the sun goes down! This activity is designed to work for a laptop, tablet, or smart phone.

    This game requires reading comprehension strategies, knowledge of poetic devices, and critical thinking skills. Watch the preview video and see exactly what’s inside the digital escape room!

    Included in this download are teacher instructions, student instructions (digital), the master lock graphic organizer, answer keys, the full text of the poem, and a reflection sheet (optional).

    Assign your students a one pager poetry analysis project and have your students share their understanding of ANY POEM by imaginatively blending their written ideas with colorful images from the text. You can pick one poem for your whole class to use or have all your students pick their own individual poems! Students’ artwork make for unique and creative analyses of the literature and also make great bulletin boards!

    Included in this purchase is:

    • Student directions for the one pager project
    • Rubric for the one pager project
    • Example one pager (based on the poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas)
    • 10 BLANK TEMPLATES (printable — optional)
    • EDITABLE word document so teachers can modify instructions or rubric

    Students are encouraged to include several of these literary devices, poetic devices (sound devices), and figurative language elements into their final projects: metaphor, simile, personification, hyperbole, imagery, pun, oxymoron, paradox, idiom, allusion, symbolism, assonance, consonance, alliteration, anaphora, rhyme, rhyme scheme, repetition, onomatopoeia, cacophony, mood, tone, and theme.

    This resource includes a Poetry Assessment for high school students (9th-12th grade ELA). You will receive a printable PDF copy of the test as well as an EDITABLE word document in case you would like to make modifications. A detailed answer key is also included!

    The format of this test includes:

    • 10 fill-in-the-blank questions with a word bank
    • 8 matching questions with poem types
    • 5 matching questions with sound devices
    • 7 matching questions with figurative language
    • A poetry analysis of two poems: “A Psalm of Life” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and the Sonnet “Death, be not proud” by John Donne.
    • Students will answer 5 multiple choice questions regarding each poem
    • 1 constructed response where students will compare the themes of each poem in a minimum of two fully developed paragraphs

    (41 questions in total including the written response)

    The Poetry Test covers the following literary terms:











    narrative poem

    lyrical poem

    free verse


















    Have your students create a collaborative poster and learn about William Shakespeare in a fun and engaging way!

    Your students will create an author biography by researching Shakespeare and establishing his profile on a poster.

    Students will learn about Shakespeare and his body of work as an influential author.

    Additionally, they will learn the importance of collaboration and effective communication. This project is perfect for National Poetry Month.

    Project Steps:

    1) To construct the author study poster, your students will work in groups to conduct research on Shakespeare.

    2) Students will then transfer their findings to boxes on the poster.

    3) Next, they will work together to color or paint the pieces of the poster.

    4) Lastly, students will tape together the final product.

    The poster is made up of six pieces of paper, which can be printed on regular copy paper or card stock.

    Once taped together, the final product will be 28″ x 15″ and can last a lifetime if you laminate it!

    This resource includes the following:

    • Step by Step Student Directions (PDF & editable word document)
    • Author Study Project Rubric (PDF & editable word document)
    • Author Study Graphic Organizer for Students (PDF & editable word document)
    • 6 Blank Coloring Pages that come together as one beautiful poster (PDFs)
    • William Shakespeare Author Study Answer Key
    • Example of Final Project: Completed Text & Fully Colored Body

    Check out more from my LITERARY LEGENDS Collection:

    This resource is a FULL POETRY UNIT for High School English, Grades 9-12!

    You will get a collection of various lessons, activities, and projects, plus an awesome digital escape room, and final test! I’ve also included a schedule for teachers to follow day-by-day! This bundle is so diverse and your students will read at least 18 different poems within this unit!

    Included in this high school poetry unit bundle:

    • Introduction Poetry Lesson & Guided Notes
    • The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe Poem Close Reading
    • To an Athlete Dying Young by A. E. Housman & Song Comparison Activity
    • Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night & An Obstacle Paired Texts Analysis
    • Dead Poets Society Movie Guide & Free Verse Poem Writing
    • Sonnet 138 William Shakespeare, Sonnet Lesson & Writing Activity
    • Ode On A Grecian Urn | Poem by John Keats & Ode Writing Activity
    • Blackout Poetry Lesson and Creative Art Project
    • Poetry Packet: Analysis of 6 Poems
    • Poetry Digital Escape Room using Robert Frost Poem
    • Poetry One-Pager for ANY POEM
    • Editable Poetry Test with Answer Key
    • William Shakespeare Author Study: Collaborative Poster Project!
    • Teacher guide with day by day schedule for 4 weeks of Poetry

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *