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Integration of Longfellow's Poetry into American Studies

Item 4120   info | My Album
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1840 / Maine Historical Society

A resource developed through the Longfellow and the Forging of American Identity program

Author: Dana Anderson, American Literature Teacher, grade 11 and
Mary Moore, Library Media Specialist, grades 9-12, Freeport High School, Freeport, Maine
Suggested Grade Level: 9-12
Subject Area: American literature and U.S. History

Time Required:
40-80 minutes for each lesson

Learning Objectives:
Students and teachers will examine Longfellow’s ability to express universality of human emotions/experiences as well as looking at the patterns he articulates in history that are applicable well beyond his era. With each poem, students will explore a common set of central guiding questions.

Materials and Resources Required:
Lesson Plan Overview (PDF)

- Outline of poems(PDF) included with this lesson, with contextual notes for use with the curriculum

Lesson plans packets:

1. The Song of Hiawatha – Section IX (PDF)
2. "Hawthorne" (PDF)
3. "Paul Revere’s Ride" (PDF)
4. "The Warning" (PDF)
5. "Psalm of Life" (PDF)
6. "The Village Blacksmith" (PDF)
7. "Cross of Snow" (PDF)
8. "The Jewish Cemetery at Newport” (PDF)
9. "The Children’s Hour" (PDF)

Overview:
We explored Longfellow's ability to express universality of human emotions/experiences while also looking at the patterns he articulated in history that are applicable well beyond his era. We attempted to link a number of Longfellow's poems with different eras in U.S. History and accompanying literature, so that the poems complemented the various units. With each poem, we want to explore the question: What is American identity?