Lesson Plan

Teach This Poem: “Declaration” by Tracy K. Smith

Tracy K. Smith's erasure poem "Declaration" challenges scholars to use their noticing skills to make connections between an engraving entitled "The Declaration of Independence" and Smith's poem. Class members record observations and questions about the works and then use these lists in a full-class discussion.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • After the lesson, post the poem next to a highlighted copy of The Preamble of the Declaration of Independence
  • Save the big reveal that the poem is an erasure poem until after class members have shared their observations
Classroom Considerations

Pros
  • Includes discussion questions to guide pupils' examination of the engraving and the poem
  • An extension activity for grades 7-8 and another for grades 9-12 are also included
Cons
  • None