Mother to Son by Langston Hughes

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Objectives
• Analyze the poem
• Understand and
appreciate the poem
• Understand what the
speaker of the poem is
Langston Hughes
• Langston Hughes
(1902 - 1967)
Mother to Son by Langston Hughes
• Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor -Bare.
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
Mother to Son by Langston Hughes
• And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.
So boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps
'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.
Don't you fall now -For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
Open Constructed Response #1
In the poem, who is the
mother speaking to
and what is the
message?
Answer to Question 1
The mother is speaking to
her son. Her message is
that her life has not been
easy, but she has not
allowed herself to stop
trying.
Open Constructed Response #2
What is the metaphor that
the speaker uses in the
poem?
A metaphor states that one thing is something
else. It is a comparison, but it does NOT use like
or as to make the comparison.
Response to Question #2
The speaker uses the
stairway to represent her
life.
Open Constructed Response #3
What does the
mother want
the son to do?
Response to Question #3
• The mother wants the son not to give up.
She advises her son, “So boy, don’t you
turn back. Don’t you set down on the
steps.” She has been through darkness on
her climb up the steps, but she warns him
that just because things can be hard, he
must let the challenges dishearten him to
the point of ceasing the struggle.
Student Friendly Rubric
Level 4
• I demonstrate understanding by
explaining the key ideas from the text,
both stated and unstated. I use
information from the text to interpret or
connect the text to other situations or
texts through analysis, evaluation,
inference and comparison.
Level 0
I write nothing. I write
nothing related to the
text. I write about
something other than the
assignment.
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