Poetry Mini-Assessment

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SWBAT cite examples of figurative language and poetic sound and structure elements by reading poems and completing an assessment.

Big Idea

Show what you know! Citing examples of figurative language, sound, and structure in poetry.


5 minutes

This test is an open-note assessment.  My goal is not to assess memorization of these terms, but rather have students be able to find them in poems and then explain how their example is representative for that particular figurative language or sound and structure element.

Students may use:

Getting Down to Business

50 minutes

I hand out the tests to the students and go over the instructions.  I am especially careful to draw attention the instruction that says to not use any sound, structure, or figurative language term more than once.  

I give them examples.  I will say, "For example, if you want to say that one of the poems has two stanzas.  That is the only time you can write about stanzas.  If you say that a poem has personification.  You can't talk about the personification in another poem.  There are lots of examples of figurative language, sound, and structure in each poem, so you will be able to do this without repeating terms." 


Did They Get It?

Because there are so many options for how students can answer, this is a fun test to grade.  There are quite a few ways each question can be answered, so you're not going to find yourself reading the same thing over and over again.

To be considered correct, students need to name a term that is represented in the poem, give an example, and then explain how that example represents the term.  I am on the lookout for duplicated terms, which will not count for credit.  If a term is used twice, but only one is correct, I will give them the benefit of the doubt.

An example of an acceptable answer for #1 would be:

Figurative language: Simile

Example and Explanation.  "looks like a footloose star" is a simile because it compares two things - the plane and a star - using the word "like."

Structure or Sound: Rhyme

Example and Explanation: The words "star" and "are" rhyme because both words end with the same sound.

I call this test a mini-assessment simply because they're only being asked to identify and label examples of figurative language and sound and structure.  Since our standard says that students must analyze how those things contribute to the overall meaning of the poem, I can't consider this a true assessment of the standard.  However, Rome wasn't built in a day.  This assessment makes sure that students have the skills they need to continue working towards the analysis standard.