Lesson Plan

African American Poets

Students will use a combination of graphic organizers in this lesson plan to learn about famous African American poets and their poetry. They will work in groups to research a famous poet, and choose one of their poems to analyze. Then, they'll share their findings with the class.
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Learning Objectives

Students will be able to conduct a short research project to learn about famous African American poets and their poetry.


(8 minutes)
  • Ask students to share what they know about poetry. Record their ideas on the board, and talk about some of the things they see in poetry, such as rhyming, imagery, etc.
  • Display and read an example of a poem, such as "The Little Clock" by Hattie Howard, and ask students what they notice and what they like about the poem. Point out examples of rhyming words and how each stanza has four lines each.
  • Explain that poetry is a type of writing that helps readers use their imagination and emotions. Poets carefully choose and arrange their words to make sound and rhythm, as well as meaning. Some poems are funny, and others are serious. Some poems rhyme and have a beat, while others do not. Share that poetry can be about anything, and it can have as many words as they want. Add that the person who writes poetry is called a poet.