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In this lesson, students explore the poem ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’ by Robert Frost. After considering different interpretations of the poem, students will work in groups to choose and defend their own analyses.

The lesson concludes with a creative writing assignment.

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Learning Objectives

As a result of this lesson, the student will be able to:

  • explain at least two interpretations of the theme of the poem ”Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”
  • defend their own interpretation of the poem
  • write a creative narrative inspired by the events of the poem

Length

1-2 hours

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.

    RL.7.2

Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.3

Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.

    7.4

Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.

Materials

  • Copies of ”Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost, one for each student
  • Copies of the video lesson quiz worksheet

Lesson Instructions

Introduce the Poem

  • Introduce the poem ”Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by showing the beginning of the video lesson Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening: Summary, Theme & Analysis, pausing at 0:39.
  • Distribute copies of the poem.

    Give students a few moments to read it silently.

  • Different people read and experience poetry differently. Ask for two or three volunteers to read the poem aloud. Have students listen for differences in their tone, pace and emphasis. Briefly discuss these differences.

Explore Theme

  • Review the element of theme in literature. Ask students for initial impressions of what the theme of this poem is.
  • Classically, the poem has two rather different interpretations.

    Return to the video lesson and play from 0:39 to 2:28.

  • Pause the video and briefly discuss this serene interpretation of the poem.
  • Play the video from 2:28 to the end.
  • Briefly discuss this darker interpretation of the poem.

  • Print out the quiz worksheet that accompanies the video lesson. Have students complete the worksheet to check their comprehension of the poem.

Activity: Defending Your Interpretation

  • Put students in small groups.
  • Each group chooses an interpretation of the poem’s theme. This could be the serene interpretation, the dark interpretation, or another interpretation of their own. The group prepares a defense of their interpretation, including visual aid.
  • Groups present their defenses, including a read-through of the poem that reflects their interpretation.

Activity: Creative Writing

  • Review the elements of a good narrative.
  • Assignment: Write a narrative telling the story of the narrator of ”Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” Consider the questions: Who is the narrator? Why is he/she in the woods? What happened before and/or after this poem?
  • Narratives can be drafted, peer reviewed, edited and published.

Related Lessons

  • How to Find the Theme or Central Idea
  • Who Is Robert Frost? – Biography ; Poems

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