A Teacher's Guide to Poems by Robert Frost
I felt great. I had just taught an amazing lesson on annotating poems. Students gave me high-fives as they walked out the door. Finally, they would be writing intelligent analysis in their poetry essays
My joy turned to horror as I read "This poem was awesome" 4,789 times. I cried, as stunned students snickered at my suffering. Seconds before peppering the class with heavy duty 24-gauge staples, I had an idea: maybe I should come up with a list of poems by Robert Frost with Robert Frost teaching activities instead. I put the stapler away, called my psychic, and canceled my free consultation.
I had work to do. I had to create a list of poems by Robert Frost along with a list of activities. Here's what I came up with:
Teaching Poems by Robert Frost
- "Fire and Ice": Frost ponders whether the world will end by fire or ice. It's jovial rhythm belies the somber message--the dangers of desire and hatred. The poem is a study in contrast. Use a Venn diagram to compare desire and hate. This Poem makes an excellent candidate for analysis and annotation.
- "Acquainted with the Night": Many of Frost's poems include night and its symbolic ramifications, the obvious one being death. This poem also presents several examples of hyperbole. Make a two-column chart. In the left column list examples of hyperbole. In the right column comment on why Frost chooses this specific hyperbole. Follow this link for an excellent "Acquainted with the Night" lesson plan.
Robert Frost Poems and Teaching Activities
- "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening": Something tells me this poem is more than just stopping by woods on a snowy evening. Symbols abound. It makes an excellent poem for teaching mood: (1) Write "mood" on the board; (2) Write down several moods that may apply--lonely, creepy, dark, ominous, silent; (3) list key words that contribute to the mood. Focus on the rhyme scheme. Each stanza is connected to the next. Why? Is it the futility of trying to escape the past or the futility of trying to escape death? Have your students annotate this poem. You'll be pleasantly surprised.
- "Nothing Gold Can Stay": Students familiar with The Outsiders will recognize Frost's pessimistic poem on the destiny of mankind, claiming that the world was created in its perfect form and has since deteriorated.