More Than Rhyme: Poetry Fundamentals   Western Reserve Public Media
Why Teach Poetry? Resources Teacher Materials Watch Online Introduction to Poetry Tools Used in Poetry Applying the Tools
Tools Used in Poetry




Students will review enjambed lines using the poem “Hazel Tells Laverne” and discuss imagery as the creation of purposely powerful pictures to create a mood or tone. They will then look for the uses of imagery in the poem “The Groundswell.”


Standards Addressed

Reading Standards for Literature 7-12

  • 7th/8th grade Craft and Structure, number 4

  • 7th/8th grade Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity, number 10

  • 9th/10th and 11th/12th grade Craft and Structure, number 4

  • 9th/10th and 11th/12th grade Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity, number 10



  • Class sets of note sheets to help students follow lesson (distributed earlier)

  • A chalkboard, overhead transparency, Elmo or Smart Board to help with note-taking

  • Copies of the poems



  1. Pass out note-taking materials.

  2. Reread the poem “Hazel Tells Laverne” from the Connotation lesson plan. Discuss whether or not the author seems to have placed any of the words purposely. (The only answers acceptable are those that are justified. For example, “sohelpmegod” is written as one word, suggesting it is said quickly and as a single thought rather than separate words.)

  3. Have the students take out their phones and take a single close-up picture of the classroom. They should concentrate on one image that defines the classroom and makes it seem very welcoming, warm and safe. Then they should take one close-up image that makes the classroom seem bleak, sad and depressing. Share and compare. Then discuss which the classroom is and whether or not a person choosing images wisely can change a person’s mind or mood.

  4. Define imagery as “purposely picking powerful pictures” and discuss why a poet may want to use this element.

  5. Read “The Groundswell.” Have students examine the chosen imagery and how it adds to the mood. Reread it, putting in a new stanza halfway through:

  6. A mother and her daughters come to laugh the day away;

    They sit and sun and laugh and run and eat and joke and play.

    Have students determine why that stanza ruins the poem. Then discuss other tools found.

    Are there any connotative words? Non-enjambed lines? Repetitions?

  7. Read and discuss the other poems and the authors’ use of imagery.


Formative Evaluation

Have students name and describe commercials that purposely use imagery to create a mood in the reader. Car commercials often work best — especially luxury cars. Copyright© Northeastern Educational Television of Ohio, Inc. All rights reserved.
Enjambed Lines and Word Placement Comparisons Hyperbole and Understatement Personification Imagery "The Groundswell" “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout” “Eleanor Rigby” “Traveling Through the Dark” “Eve”