Close Reading Through Poetry with Adobe Acrobat

Students demonstrate close reading strategies by annotating a poem
3 teachers like this strategy

About This Strategy

This 1.5-hour strategy helps students answer big questions about analyzing poetry in Adobe Acrobat Pro. You can use this strategy for any poem, and can be adapted for use with other Adobe products, such as Adobe Spark Video.  After completing the close read, students can bring the poem to life by narrating the poem in a video in Spark Video, while highlighting their analysis of the poem in their video.

Because Adobe Acrobat enables students to view, create, and manipulate PDF documents, this strategy empowers students to be active learners and demonstrate their analysis of poetry in a deep and meaningful way.

Supporting Tools and Resources

  • Student Sample
  • Adobe Acrobat Pro

  • Adobe Spark Video

  • Editable Resource Bundle

  • PDF Resource Bundle

Outline for Teachers


Students learn what a close reading is, its importance, and how it can help them become more independent in interpreting and connecting with literature. (15 minutes)


Students choose a poem and evaluate it using the questions on the Close Reading Template. Students should choose a poem that is at least 10 lines (or stanzas) long. (45 minutes)


Students upload their chosen poem as a PDF in Adobe Acrobat. Students answer the questions on the PDF by adding text. Students should also highlight textual evidence using the highlight tool.  Students use these steps to guide them. Students can examine an example here, and read  a tutorial here. (30 minutes)

Optional: For an even more creative approach, have students narrate the poem and their analysis using Adobe Spark Video.


Students share and publish their PDF as directed.

Steps for Students

You will demonstrate close reading strategies using poetry. You will use questions to closely examine the poem's words and phrases in Adobe Acrobat Pro. 

Adobe Acrobat allows you to upload a PDF of a poem. Use the highlight and annotation tools to take notes. Add text to answer the questions.


1. What is a Close Reading?  Review this information. (15 minutes)

Close reading is thoughtful, critical analysis of a text that focuses on significant details or patterns in order to develop a deep, precise understanding of the text's form.

Close reading is important because it helps you become an independent reader who interprets and connects with the text, bringing your own ideas and perspectives.

Discuss these ideas with a small group or partner:

  • Have you ever done a close read? 

  • Why might this be a useful tool for analyzing poetry?

2. Take a look at the questions on the template and listed below before choosing your poem: (30 minutes)

Choose a poem that is at least 10 lines (or stanzas) long. 

Before you begin evaluating the poem, take a look at the rubric.

3. Upload your chosen poem to Adobe Acrobat. Highlight key words and phrases using the highlight tool to answer the following questions: (60 minutes)

  • What is the first thing you notice about the passage?

  • Which words do you notice first? Why did they stand out from the others?

  • Look up any unfamiliar words. (list the words you lookup)

  • Is there any repetition within the poem? What words are repeated? Why are they repeated?

  • Are there colors, sounds, physical description that appeals to the senses? Why might the author have chosen that color, sound or physical description?

  • Are there metaphors, similes, figures of speech? What kinds? Why might the author have chosen them? 

  • Final analysis of the poem

Each piece highlighted should include a comment on why it was highlighted and your interpretation. Adobe Acrobat  allows you to create a comment after you’ve highlighted. Be sure to number each line in your poem as well.

Answer these questions directly on your PDF by adding text. 

Take a look at this example, or step by step guidance here.

4. Share your PDF as directed by your instructor.

Optional Extension: After analyzing the poem, bring the poem to life using Adobe Spark Video: Narrate the poem and your analysis alongside images and video that you feel are representative of your poem.   

For guidance, check out this tutorial.

Rubric for Successful Analysis

Consult the attached rubric in order to evaluate students' annotations.