Unit 1: Course Intro and Literature Boot Camp


Unit 1: Course Introduction and Critical Close Reading Skills

Lesson 1: Objectives: Students will be able to use elements of style and structure to analyze a poem closely.

Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful
Do Now: Based on your reading of the poem , name three strategies did you used to help you understand the poem. Pair-Share.
Mini Lesson:
Teacher models a close reading of “The Red Wheelbarrow” poem by using the mnemonic.
Strategy 1: stylistic choices
Strategy 2:pattern if repetition and anomalies
Strategy 3: TPCASTT
Strategy 1: What do elements of style include? How does a writer’s stylistic choice convey the work’s message or meaning?
  • How do elements of style and structure impact the meaning of poetry?
  • What do you know  about the following elements? Turn and talk to a partner and share the information you have. Pairs share in class.


Activity 1- Introduing new concepts

Forms-ode, sonnet, elegy , ode, villanelle, terza rima, blank verse, free verse

Poetic syntax- enjambment- run on line-when one line ends without a oause and must continue into the next line to complete it meaning; caesura( a pause within a line sometimes punctuated ). Questions to ask- are the poem’s line long or short? Do the poem’s lines create a visual pattern or create a special meaning?

Sound: alliteration, assonance, cadence( rise and fall of voice)

Activity 2

Close-read “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams

Questions to consider asking while reading-

  1. How can form and sound not only reinforce an image but can actually create meaning?i
  2. In what form is the poem written?
  3. What does the use of enjambment suggest?
  4. Why does he give the preposition “upon” its own line?
  5. Why is the word “wheelbarrow”  broken into two lines?
  6. What meaning does he image created by the 2nd stanza suggest?
  7. Is there an example of assonance? What does the sound suggest?
  8. Is there an example of alliteration? What effect does the sound create?
  9. What sense does the poem create when the poet begins his poem with “much” and ends with “chicken”?
  10. How do the sounds created in the poem connect to the meaning of the poem?
  11. If the poem does not follow a traditional form, what sort of logic structures the poem? Why are the stanzas broken as they are? What is the relationship among stanzas?
Step 2: Find pattern of repetition or contrast or anomalies
Step 3: Use TPCASTT to piece your analysis together.
Guided Practice: 

We Real Cool

Gwendolyn Brooks1917 – 2000

                   THE POOL PLAYERS. 
                   SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL.
We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.
Independent Practice:
Read a poem “ Delight in Disorder” by Robert Herrick. How does the poet use specific techniques to convey his attitude toward the subject he describes, with special attention to the use of personification, oxymoron, diction and structure( hint: parallel structure).
Work in a group of three and present your close reading of the poem on a chart paper.( formative Assessment)
Homework: Complete a first draft of the analysis of Herrick’s poem.
Use the resources below: 
  • Which of the important words( verbs, nouns, adj. adverbs) in the poem or passage are general and abstract, which are specific or general?
  • Are the key words formal , informal, colloquial, or slang?
  • Are there words with strong connotations, words we might refer to as ” loaded”?

Figures of Language

  • Are there any example of  metaphor, simile or personification? How do they extend the meaning?


  • What’s the order of the words in the sentence? Are they in a subject-verb form or inverted?
  • What’s more prevalent in he passage? Verbs or nouns?
  • What are the sentences like? Do the meaning build periodically or cumulatively?
  • How do the sentence connect their words, phrases and clauses?
  • How is he passage organized? Is it chronological? Doe it move from concrete to abstract or visa visa?


Lesson 2

Objectives: Students will be able to analyze how the poet
conveys the relationship between the tree and the family through the use of poetic techniques.

Do Now: Discuss how Brook reveals a tone of resistance or protest in her poem ” The Pool Players”.

Differentiation: Students are grouped accordingly; graphic organizers and mnemonic are provided to help students construct and organize ideas.

Multiple options are given to students to read deeply the poem.

Mini Lesson:

Steps to respond to an essay prompt:

  1. Deconstructing the Prompt
    The first step to a successful literary analysis is the deconstruction of the prompt to discover the
    writing task. In the prompt below, highlight, circle, or underline the elements of the prompt that
    direct your essay.
  2. Analyzing the Prompt
    Answer the following questions in the space provided.
    -The prompt actually hints at the theme or “big picture idea” of the poem. What does it suggest this important idea might be, at least in part? ___________________________________
    -What concrete poetic technique is explicitly mentioned? ___
    -What other poetic techniques are possibilities for an essay of analysis? What other poetic techniques have you written about before?
    -Who is the poet? How will you refer to the poet in your essay?
  3. Interacting with the poem
    Read the poem through the first time without taking notes or marking anything. Try to “see” in your own mind the scene being described and the movement from the beginning to the end of the poem. Don’t forget to start with the title “The Black Walnut Tree.”

Guided Practice ( see handout pages 3-4)

4. Finding Textual Support( page 4)

5.  Identifying Poetic Techniques( page 5)

Independent Practice

Use the notes to write an essay.

Homework: Complete the essay.

Lesson 3:  Evaluating and revising the essay

Objectives: Students will be able to revise their essays by critiquing a sample essay and examining the essay rubric

Do Now: What’s your biggest struggle to compose the essay? Pair share. Share the challenges with the class.

Mini Lesson

Reviewing a High Scoring Essay

With pen in hand, annotate the student essay on the next page. Mark phrases and sentences that  are particularly effective in analyzing the complex relationship between the speaker’s family and the tree. In the margins, identify ways in which the writer explains how a poetic technique is connected to the meaning of the poem. Discuss your findings with a partner or with your class.
After reviewing the essay and the scoring guide which follows it, assign a score of 1 – 9 to this essay. Be ready to explain your score.
Think about how this essay compares to the essay you wrote for the mock exam. What are some things you can do to improve the writing you do over poetry? ( see pages 6-8 in the provided handout)

Guided Practice

Use the provided rubric for the essay, give reasons why the essay is given a high score.( page 9)

Independent Practice

Revise your essay based on your new understanding of the essay requirements and rubric.

Homework: Revise the essay. Due Thursday.


Lesson 4 Peer Review poetry analysis essay

Objectives: Students will be able to peer-review each other’s poetry analysis essay by using the AP essay rubric provided.

Develop the topic thoroughly by selecting the most significant and relevant facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic.
Use appropriate and varied transitions and syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts.

Use precise language, domain-specific vocabulary, and techniques such as metaphor, simile, and analogy to manage the complexity of the topic.

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

Vary syntax for effect, consulting references

Do Now: What’s the most important thing that you want your peer to do or not to do when providing a peer-review?

Pair share.

Mini Lesson:

  1. How do we peer review?
  2. Dos and Don’ts
  3. Commendations and Recommendations
  4. Follow the language in the rubric
  5. Be specific

Thesis Workshop




Independent Practice

Students work on revising their essays and hand it in by the end of the period.

Homework: Read Metamorphosis.


Lesson 5 Becoming Familiar with Reading and Writing Strategies

Objectives: Students will be able to present the best way to understand and apply various reading and writing strategies by making a poster in a small group.

Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.

Do now: Watch a video of THE STRATEGIES-

Student Independent Practice

In small groups, students discuss each strategy and its application in reading and writing practices. Create a poster that helps their peers to understand the strategy. Be as artistic as you can.

Exit Slip: Complete the visual presentation and post them on the classroom bulletin board.

Homework: Complete the 2nd draft of the Black Walnut Tree analysis essay.


Lesson 6

Objectives: Students will be able to gain strategies for close reading.

Do Now:

  1. Review the course goals and exam format.
  2. Emulate the sentence structure and make your own sentence. “Begin with the subject”.

Ships at a distance have everyone’s wish on board. by Z. N Hurston

Mini Lesson: Close reading-Compare and Contrast Emily Dickenson’s poem with Robert Frost’s. Discuss the speakers’ differing views of experiences with darkness and night and how they are conveyed by poets’ techniques.

How to we read poetry?

  1. Use annotative techniques that area specific to poetry
  3. Identify pattern ( REPETITION, IMAGERY, FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE), shift and tone.

Independent Practice:  In a small group, discuss the assigned poem in response to the given prompt. Your annotation of the poem needs to be relevant to the prompt.

Present your findings.

Homework: Complete the packet of the Poetry analysis of “Emily Dickenson’s poem with Robert Frost’s.


Lesson 7:

Objectives: Students will be able to analyze how the author expresses different views toward darkness through examining the detail, imagery and tone.

Resource: Reading Poetry

(about sonnet page 15-30)

Do Now: Use the sentence structure variation resource to help you compose a few sentences about reading experiences of sonnets or poetry in general.

“A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentence for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts”- by William Strunk.


Mini Lesson-

How to analyze poetry?(

Reading Poetry(about sonnet page 15-30)

  • Notice & Focus
  • Identify the pattern and anomaly
  • Where is the shift? Why?
  • What’s the tone (diction, imagery, allusion, figurative language)

Independent Practice:

select a sonnet and make a poster showing your textual evidence, analysis and claims on the poem assigned.

Use the markers to label the example. Bring out the deeper meaning. Make a thesis statement that implies a shift in tone or meaning.


Homework: 1)Make a thesis statement based on both poems. 2) Work on a paragraph or two analyzing how the speaker of the poem describe and reveal her/his experience with darkness and night.

Lesson 7: Constructing a well-developed paragraph

Objectives: Students will be able to write a meaning-driven literary analysis in a workshop setting.

Do Now: Syntax exercise:

Begin with an adjective and the subject

Old Mr. Shimerda is dead, and his family are in great distress.-Willa Cather from My Antonia

Mini Lesson:

Analysis Workshop

  1. Examine the prompt carefully-in a well written essay, discuss the speakers‘ differing views of their experiences with darkness and night and explain how they are conveyed by the poet’s techniques. Consider such elements as structure, point of view, imagery and tone.
  2. What does the prompt ask you to do? What is the key abstract concept? What does it look life in real life? What are some of the synonyms can you use to illustrate the concept?
  3. What question(s) are embedded in the prompt? Form at least two questions based on the prompt.
  4. Answer the question(s). Doe your answer imply a shift( tension)? For example- By describing the speaker who is ” acquainted” with the night and yet avoids the light and watchman, the poet depicts him/her as someone who seems to fear the night and yet find comfort in it, suggesting the speaker may suffer from depression and desires to remain distant from people and their world.
  5. Chunk the poem: How does the poet portray the speaker and his/her experiences with the night/darkness in the first half of the poem? then 2nd half of the poem? The ” how” question requires you to use terms such as imagery, point of view, structure and tone.
  6. Use the literary terms organically.
  7. USE 2-3 examples of imagery to suggest a pattern- the speaker is afraid of the night but he frequents it often.
  8. Use 2-3 examples to demonstrator a reflective first person point of view to reveal his loneliness and how much he avoids the city and people.
  9. For structure analysis, point out how in the beginning of the poem, the first three stanzas depict the speaker’s fear and how the last two stanzas indicate a shift of tone because he seems to find solace in it.
  10. So what: bring our the deeper meaning and connect to a larger issue- the poet seems to use the speaker’s experiences with the night to bring attention to those  who suffer from depression and hopelessness and yet retrieve deeper into the loneliness instead of seeking help. The world is a scary place for them and they are the only ones in it.

Independent Practice:

Use the workshop notes to revise your paragraphs on one of the poems.

Homework: Finish the revision and write a first draft of the essay in which you compare and contrast speakers‘ differing views of their experiences with darkness and night and explain how they are conveyed by the poet’s techniques. Consider such elements as structure, point of view, imagery and tone.

Suggestions: One body paragraph  analyzes the connections between the two poems. One body paragraph describes the differences.

Or one paragraph analyzing one poem and the other the 2nd poem.

Lesson 8 Peer Review

Objectives: Students will be able to peer-edit each other’s essay using the provided AP 9-point rubric in pairs.

Do now: Syntax exercise

Mini Lesson: Review the 9-point AP Lit rubric.

Independent Practice

In pairs, peer review essay and write comments based on rubric-

  1. Strengths of the essay:
  2. Areas that need improvement : syntax variation, diction, thesis( shift), structure, citation, examples, analysis, so what, making connections, etc.

Reflect: What have I learned from this process?

Homework: Revise the essay and turn it in tomorrow.


Lesson 9 Comparison and Contrast Homer’s The Odyssey and Margaret Atwood’s “Siren Song” 

Objectives: Students will be able to analyze the promt and annotate the poems for their analysis by completing the charts in a small group.

Do now: Syntax exercise

Begin with a prepositional phrase used as an adverb-

After breakfast, Billy got out his best knife, the one with a needle point. -John Steinbeck The Red Pony

Mini Lesson: What effect does this point of view have on the reader? Why would the author feel this point of view was most effective for this passage?

Read the poems “ Odyssey” and “Siren”. Compare and contrast.

Independent Practice: Complete the charts on page 5 & 6  of the handout.

Reflect: Why do you believe authors select a specific point of view for their work?

Homework: Study how to come up with a thematic statement.


Lesson 10

Objectives: Students will be able to understand why they cite particula textual evidence in their discussions by making the quotations “conversant” with each other.

Do Now: Syntax

Postpone the subject-

In a hole in the ground, lived a hobbit. -J.R.R. Tolkien The Hobbit

Quick Review of a few issues in the essays-

  • lack of careful selection of evidence
  • evidence is too long and too  much but inaccurate
  • structure of a paragraph- topic sentence, context, examples( suggesting a pattern or binary or anomaly), analysis (3-5 sentences at least) and so what.


Making the evidence speak for you by letting them become ” conversant” with each other-

  • Cite three evidence from a text( copy from the poem on a small poster paper)
  • Personify each example of textual evidence
  • explain what “you” mean and why you think ” you” are being placed in the poem or text by the author.
  • Compare yourself to two others: are you similar or different( pattern)? are you an anomaly? are you contradictory to one another?
  • By placing you three together, what would be revealed, such as the portrayal of the speaker ( siren/ Odysseus) or the author’s purpose? Compose three sentences to describe the deep meaning brought about by the pattern , anomaly or binary. (Assessment)
  • Staging the three pieces evidence together is effective or redundant?

Independent Practice:

Share completed worksheets in a small group and complete Activity 3 Item 1 to item 5.

Reflect: How important is the choice of evidence to the development of a thesis?

Homework work: Complete activity 3 items 1- 5 ( for those who can, complete item 6).


Lesson 11

Objectives: Students will be able to make their analysis more precise by focusing on the textual evidence they use to support the claim.

Do Now: Syntax

Begin with a conjunction-

But now, for the first time, I see you are a man like me.- by Erich Remarque All Quiet on the Western Front

Mini Lesson:

How to be precise while analyzing a text?

  1. Select the best evidence you can identify based on the topic ( prompt)
  2. Provide context only in the context of your argument ( thesis)
  3. Quote the line before zooming in on the specific words or phrases
  4. Use PBFF and five analytical moves to bring out the deeper meaning of the text
  5. Your interpretation should only be based on the textual evidence you have included in the essay
  6. First explain what the evidence describes ( seems to say) before you get into the connotations.
  7. Once all evidence has been introduced, discuss the connections among them ( pattern-what’s being repeated, anomaly, binary).
  8. Work on So What to bring out the deeper connection to a larger issue.

Independent Practice: 

As a group, compose a complete and well-developed paragraph to respond to the prompt based on the poem you are given. Limit your evidence to no more than three lines.

Reflect: How does this activity help me tighten up my writing?

Homework: Follow both  thematic and thesis statement exercises, come up with your own thesis statement in response to the prompt based on The Sirens poem and Homer’s poem. Complete the worksheet on page 12.


Lesson 12

Objectives: Students will be able to evaluate student sample essays and revise a low-score essay using the 9-point rubric provided.

Do now: Discuss in small groups the ” Poetry and Comparison/Contrast Writing Sheet” ( page 11)


  1. In a small group, read and discuss the sample essay ( score 8). Analyze the structure, use of idea-driven analysis, as well as how the evidence is cited and used.
  2. As a group, revise the essay that is scored 4 and try to bring it up to at least a 6 or higher. Type up the revised essay but do use the original thesis statement ( make it better). Try also to use the evidence provided. In other words, I don’t want you to write a new essay. Work on making the low-scored essay better. Due Tuesday.

Homework: Type the essay in google doc and finish the revision as a group. Bring it in to share on Tuesday.


Lesson 13

Objectives: Students will be able to analyze the poems from the perspectives of point of view, literary device and tone.

Do Now: Share  the chart on page 5 based on the poem assigned. Share.

Mini lesson:

  1. Review the comparison and contrast notes
  2. Discuss how to generate a strong and complete thesis statement? We’ll use activities on page 7.

Independent practice

Finish up the revision of 4 paper. Turn it in.

Reflect: What did you learn from this activity?

Homework: Read and annotate excerpts from White Noise by Don DeLillo and answer the multiple choice questions. Be prepared to argue why your made the choice.


Lesson 14

Objectives: Students will be ale to verify their responses to the multiple choice questions based on The White Noise through debate and presentation.

Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

Do Now: Reflect on the presentations from yesterday, what can you do differently to make the presentation more effective?

Activity 1-Mini Lesson

  1. When presenting the evidence to support your answer, be sure to explain why. Assume your audience has not read the excerpt.
  2. When you explain why your evidence supports your answer ( you may have to find evidence from several paragraphs throughout the text), you are literally” writing ” the analytical part of your essay.
  3. When coming to the same conclusion but with different evidence, debate why.

Activity 2-Student continue presenting their group answer(s) and supporting evidence

Activity 3: In a small group, follow the steps below to complete the assigned tasks ( MCQs are based on chapter 40 of the novel White Noise)-

  1. Fill out the 2nd column with your own answer(s) based on Q1-12
  2. Get into a small group discussion( debate if you will) and determine the best answer for the group for each question
  3. Fill out the 3rd column for each question with your best group response
  4. Prepare for a small group presentation on the questions assigned( Group 5 :Q1-2; Group 4: Q3-4; Group 3: Q5-6; Group 4: Q7-9; Group 5: Q10-12
  5. Group presentations
  6. Reveal the answer keys
  7. Class receives the final grade.

Activity 4: Reflect


  • Write a reflection on the activities- what did you learn( the strategies to answer the questions correctly)? Use the template on page 15 as a way to start.
  • Complete the MCQ section of a sample AP Exam. Apply the strategies you have learned form this activity. Try to monitor your time ( 60 minutes in real time setting).
  • Do research on Aristotle’s Poetics and bring in some ideas to share with the class: How did he define “good” drama? Tragic hero( character)? Plot? Song?  Thought? Language? Spectacle ?
  • Do research on Oedipus Rex legend and become familiar with it, which was what Greek audience would have done before they came to the amphitheater to see the play.


Question Number Possible Answers by Individual Student( 1 or 2 best choices if not certain) Group Answer after Discussion Class Answer after Group Presentations Answer keys Final Grade Notes