Poetry Strand – Focus Lesson #1
3A (Poetry Strand)-- Students understand, make inferences and draw conclusions about the structure and elements of
poetry and provide evidence from text to support their understanding. Students are expected to analyze the effects of
diction and imagery (e.g., controlling images, figurative language, understatement, overstatement, irony, paradox) in
poetry.
Abandoned Farmhouse
By Ted Kooser
1
He was a big man, says the size of his shoes
on a pile of broken dishes by the house;
a tall man too, says the length of the bed
in an upstairs room; and a good, God-fearing man,
5
says the Bible with a broken back
on the floor below the window, dusty with sun;
but not a man for farming, say the fields
cluttered with boulders and the leaky barn.
A woman lived with him, says the bedroom wall
10
papered with lilacs and the kitchen shelves
covered with oilcloth, and they had a child,
says the sandbox made from a tractor tire.
Money was scarce, say the jars of plum preserves
and canned tomatoes sealed in the cellar hole.
15
And the winters cold, say the rags in the window frames.
It was lonely here, says the narrow country road.
Something went wrong, says the empty house
in the weed-choked yard. Stones in the fields
say he was not a farmer; the still-sealed jars
20
in the cellar say she left in a nervous haste.
And the child? Its toys are strewn in the yard
like branches after a storm--a rubber cow,
a rusty tractor with a broken plow,
a doll in overalls. Something went wrong, they say.
Poetry Strand – Focus Lesson #2
3A (Poetry Strand)-- Students understand, make inferences and draw conclusions about the structure and elements of
poetry and provide evidence from text to support their understanding. Students are expected to analyze the effects of
diction and imagery (e.g., controlling images, figurative language, understatement, overstatement, irony, paradox) in
poetry.
Women
By Alice Walker
5
10
15
20
25
They were women then
My mama’s generation
Husky of voice—stout of
Step
With fists as well as
Hands
How they battered down
Doors
And ironed
Starched white
Shirts
How they led
Armies
Headragged generals
Across mined
Fields
Booby-trapped
Ditches
To discover books
Desks
A place for us
How they knew what we
Must know
Without knowing a page
Of it
Themselves.
Poetry Strand – Focus Lesson #3
The Oyster
Author: Unknown
1
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
There once was an oyster
Whose story I tell,
Who found that some sand
Had got into his shell.
It was only a grain,
But it gave him great pain.
For oysters have feelings
Although they’re so plain.
Now, did he berate
The harsh working of fate
That had brought him
To such a deplorable state?
Did he curse at the government,
Cry for election,
And claim that the sea should
Have given him protection?
No – he said to himself
As he lay on a shell,
Since I cannot remove it,
I shall try to improve it.
Now the years have rolled around,
As the years always do,
And he came to his ultimate
Destiny – stew.
And the small grain of sand
That had bothered him so
Was a beautiful pearl
All richly aglow.
Now the tale has a moral;
For isn’t it grand
What an oyster can do
With a morsel of sand?
What couldn’t we do
If we’d only begin
With some of the things
That get under our skin.
“Abandoned Farmhouse”
3
By Ted Kooser
1
2
What does the figurative language in
lines 4-6 emphasize?
A
The man mistreated his books.
B
The family did not keep the
house clean, so the Bible is on
the floor covered in dust.
C
The man read the Bible so
much that he did not spend
enough time working the farm.
D
The farmer abandoned his faith
and his Bible when he left the
farm.
4
What is symbolic about line 2?
A
The broken dishes are symbolic
of the family’s broken dreams.
B
The poem is symbolic because it
is told from the point of view of
the dishes.
C
The man without shoes is
symbolic of the family’s
poverty.
D
The woman washed and broke
the dishes outside.
5
Read lines 21-24 of the poem.
The
poet uses figurative language and
details to show –
A
The child did not know how to
put his toys away.
B
The child’s farm toys are
purposely abandoned just as
the farmhouse is.
C
How the toys are scattered in a
random, violent way.
D
The parents do not know where
the child is.
What do lines 9-11 tell the reader
about the character of the woman?
A
The woman resented living on
the lonely country road.
B
The woman was nervous and
always in a hurry.
C
The woman took pride in her
home and worked to make it as
nice as possible.
D
The woman wasted money on
plum preserves and canned
tomatoes.
In the last stanza, which words best
support that the idea that the family
had given everything they had to make
the farm a success, but nature worked
against them.
A
nervous haste and branches
B
empty house and weed-choked
yard
C
storm and rubber cow
D
rusty tractor and broken plow
“Women”
3
By Alice Walker
1
A
To emphasize the importance
of women in the work force
when men were at war.
B
To emphasize the figurative
battle the African American
women fought to gain rights for
their children.
C
To emphasize the hardships
women faced when walking in
the country.
D
To emphasize the bravery of
the Generals in the war.
Read lines 2-6 of the poem. The poet
uses imagery to show –
A
The both the women’s physical
strength and strength of
character.
B
The women were violent and
hit things with their fists.
C
The women discovered books
and desks for their children.
D
2
What is the poet’s main purpose in
lines 12-18?
The women were overweight.
What is ironic about lines 22-26?
A
Even though the women were
uneducated they knew that
their children needed education
to be successful.
B
Even though the women never
went to school, they already
knew everything they needed
to know.
C
Even though the women were
grown, they felt it was their
right to get an education for
themselves.
D
4
Even though the women were
educated, it was unfair that
they worked as laundresses and
maids.
5
In line 7, the word battered means –
A
Batted in a baseball game.
B
Covered in a soft flour mixture.
C
Damaged with repeated blows.
D
Well armored ship.
What do the words, ironed in line 9 and
headragged in line 14 suggest?
A
The women felt their
responsibility was to cook and
clean for their own families.
B
The women wanted to leave
their current jobs and join the
army.
C
They needed to go to a hair
salon.
D
The women worked in domestic
jobs to support their families.
4
“The Oyster”
Author: Unknown
1
In line 9, the word berate means –
A
comment on
B
rank in order
C
scold harshly
D
improve
5
2.
What does the figurative language in
lines 27-28 emphasize?
A
B
the glowing light under water
C
the wealth that a pearl can bring
to a person
D
3
the miracle and loveliness of a
pearl
the scientific process of creating
a pearl
What is ironic about line 31-32?
A
The oyster could not get the sand
out of its shell.
B
What started as an irritation
became something beautiful.
C
The oyster has no brain but has
feelings.
D
The oyster ended up in a stew.
6
Read lines 21-22 of the poem. The poet
uses figurative language to show –
A
the oyster’s inability to move
B
the rolling of the ocean
C
the gradual passage of time.
D
the fishing nets
What does line 19-20 tell the reader
about the oyster?
A
He has a positive outlook on life.
B
He has no friends to help him.
C
He complains about politics.
D
He should be more careful.
What is the poet’s main purpose in lines
33-36?
A
To end the poem with a different
rhyme scheme.
B
To show that this oyster is special
and not everyone will be as
successful.
C
To support the theme that
people should look at obstacles
in their lives as opportunities to
make change.
D
To enforce the idea that the
government should provide
assistance and protection to
everyone who faces social or
economic problems.