Make a study of poetry compelling and relevant to your students’ lives.
In the film Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams famously delivers portions of Walt Whitman’s beloved “O Me! O Life!” poem. This 1-to-2-day lesson will add rigor to your students’ enjoyment of the film, but also works as a standalone poetry assignment if, like me, you aren’t able to use the full-length film with your classes. Either way, your students will be challenged and entertained as they work through Whitman’s words.
On the first day, share Walt Whitman’s famous poem with your students and have them work through an analysis of Whitman’s lines. The poem worksheet includes depth-of-knowledge questions that will require students to dig back into the text and their own minds to find the answers. After discussing the answers with the class, then launch the second part of the lesson, wherein you’ll view and analyze a T.V. ad produced by Apple that uses pieces of Whitman’s lines. The second worksheet includes a set of three short answer questions about the ad. (Students may view the ad together as a full class or individually on internet-enabled devices. Link included.)
Use as a one-day activity with homework assignment or spread the materials over two days.
• Suggested lesson procedure
• 2 student handouts
• 2 detailed answer keys with discussion starters
• Link to 90-second video clip
This item downloads as a PDF and includes Google Drive versions of the student handouts.
Want this item plus lesson materials for other poems featured in Dead Poets Society? Instead of purchasing this item, click here to get these poetry lessons plus two other poetry lesson sets at a 20% discount. Also, please note that this item is included in my budget-priced 4-week High School Poetry Unit that’ll save you more than 20% on this item and a slew of other poetry teaching materials. To avoid a double-purchase, please do not buy the item on this page if you also intend to buy the poetry bundle or Dead Poets Society pack.
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