Lesson Plan: How to Read and Analyze Poetry

As a High School English Language teacher, you can use this lesson plan to teach your students how to read and analyze poetry and to use these techniques to examine climate related poems.

In this lesson plan, students will be taught how to read poetry and identify elements such as theme, structure, and tone. Through this lesson plan your students will also be introduced to one of the most significant issues of our times- Climate Change.

Thus, the use of this lesson plan allows you to integrate the teaching of a climate science topic with a core topic in English Language.

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Use this lesson plan to help your students find answers to:

  1. How is poetry read?
  2. What are the essential components of poetry?
  3. How is a poetry analysis done?
  4. How is climate change portrayed in modern poetry?

About Lesson Plan

Grade Level High school
Discipline English, Humanities
Topic(s) in Discipline Reading Poetry

Poetry Elements- Structure, Tone, Theme

Poetry Analysis

Climate related Poetry

Climate Topic Introduction to climate change
Location India
Language(s) English
Access Online. offline
Time Required
60 – 80 min


A Teaching Module

(~30-40 min)

A teaching module that provides a step-by-step guide to reading poetry and analyzing its various components such as tone, structure, and theme. It includes several links to teaching resources and a worksheet for poetry analysis.


Go to the Resource

Classroom Activity



A curated list of climate change related poetry for analysis using techniques learnt from the previous resource. This list of poems is also available as audio recordings in the voices of celebrities.

Go to the Activity


Here is a step-by-step guide to using this lesson plan in the classroom/laboratory. We have suggested these steps as a possible plan of action. You may customize the lesson plan according to your preferences and requirements.

Step 1: Topic introduction and discussion

  1. Use the module, ‘Preparing for Poetry: A Reader’s First Steps’ by Jason Rhody, published by EDSITEment, National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), to take your students through a step-by-step guide to reading poetry.
  2. Follow the instructions to facilitate the students’ understanding of the techniques involved in reading and analyzing poetry.
  3. Use this teaching resource to also enable your students to learn how to prepare an essay about a poem.

Go to the Resource

Step 2: Apply the understanding in written and spoken discussions

  1. Choose one or more poems from the list of 21 poems, ‘’Our melting, shifting, liquid world’: celebrities read poems on climate change’ curated by UK poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy and published by the Guardian, to read in class.
  2. The poems can be downloaded, and copies prepared beforehand for classroom reading.
  3. You can also choose to engage your students further by playing audio files (mp3 format) of the chosen poems read out by celebrities- James Franco, Jeremy Irons, Ruth Wilson, Gabriel Byrne, Michael Sheen, Kelly Macdonald, Maxine Peake, Tamsin Greig, Ian Glen, and Iwan Rheon.
  4. Use the worksheet (from the first resource), ‘Preparing for Poetry’ by NEH to ask your students to analyze the chosen poems.
  5. Use the completed worksheets to facilitate a classroom discussion on the theme of climate change poetry.
  6. Further, encourage your students to employ the techniques learnt to prepare an essay on the chosen poem/s.

Note: In order to improve your students’ understanding of the climate change theme beforehand, you can give a brief overview using this educators’ resource by CLEAN Foundation, Canada.

The curated list of climate change poems can be accessed here.