National Endowment for the Arts - The Big Read
The Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Nationality is a good thing to a certain extent, but universality is better. All that is best in the great poets of all countries is not what is national in them, but what is universal.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1855 (Photo courtesy the Longfellow National Historic Site)

Schedule/Lesson Plans

This is a suggested teaching schedule for a 10 Day class study of the poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Lesson plans and handouts can be downloaded individually by clicking on the name of the file in the schedule below. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view these files.

Audio Guide CDs are available only for the communities participating in The Big Read. If your community is participating, contact the lead community organization to receive a free Audio Guide CD. Non-participating communities can listen to the full audio online.

Day One
Focus: Word Choice and the Value of a Dictionary
Day One Lesson Plan [PDF]

Day Two
Focus: Biographical Criticism and the Speaker of a Poem
Day Two Lesson Plan [PDF]

Day Three
Focus: The Sonnet
Day Three Lesson Plan [PDF]

Day Four
Focus: Figurative Language
Day Four Lesson Plan [PDF]

Day Five
Focus: Form, Rhythm, and Meter
Day Five Lesson Plan [PDF]

Day Six
Focus: Allusions
Day Six Lesson Plan [PDF]

Day Seven
Focus: Narrative Poetry, Meter, and Voice
Day Seven Lesson Plan [PDF]

Day Eight
Focus: Narrative Poetry and Characters
Day Eight Lesson Plan [PDF]

Day Nine
Focus: Analyzing a Poem's Context
Day Nine Lesson Plan [PDF]

Day Ten
Focus: What Makes a Great Poet?
Day Ten Lesson Plan [PDF]


Handout 1: Longfellow and Multiculturalism [PDF]
Handout 2: The Landlord’s Tale: “Paul Revere’s Ride” [PDF]
Handout 3: Longfellow’s The Song of Hiawatha [PDF]

Download all ten lesson plans and handouts [.zip]

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