lesson plan

Teach This Poem: “The Everglades” by Campbell McGrath

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Produced for K-12 educators, Teach This Poem features one poem a week from our online poetry collection, accompanied by interdisciplinary resources and activities designed to help teachers quickly and easily bring poetry into the classroom. The series is written by our Educator in Residence, Dr. Madeleine Fuchs Holzer, and is available for free via email.

Featured Poem

On the Trail: Everglades National Park

A video about "The River of Grass," home to an abundance of plants and animals, produced by CBS Sunday Morning.

Classroom Activities
  1. Show the video “On the Trail: Everglades National Park” to your students. After they see it, ask them to write down what they remember. What did they learn from this video? How do they feel about the Everglades after watching this video? Please remind them that there are no right or wrong answers to these questions.
  2. Project the poem “The Everglades” by Campbell McGrath in front of the class, so all your students can see it. Ask them to read it silently and write down what they notice in the poem, including all the words, phrases, and structures that ring out to them. Ask a student to read the poem aloud to the class.  Ask the listening students to continue adding to their lists during this reading. Repeat this process with another student reading out loud.
  3. Ask your students to turn and talk with a partner about what they noticed in the poem. What do they learn from the poem? How do they feel about the Everglades after reading and hearing this poem?  Ask them to provide evidence from the poem to support their answers.
  4. Whole-class discussion: What do they remember from watching the video? What do they remember from the poem? How is the language in the poem different from that in the video? What do they think is the function of these different types of language?