Creative English
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Why a rat with a bomb to illustrate poetry? Why not? Poetry can be a tricky topic to teach. Part of the problem is that students do not see the connection between their favorite songs and poetry. Here are some assignments that I have used in my own classroom to increase student interest in poetry.


This document is a collection of some of my favorite songs (country, classic rock, hymns, modern hits, etc.) that have lyrics worthy of analysis. In my classroom I have this document printed out and bound, so students can flip through it and select a song they would like to analyze. Then we find common literary terms in the lyrics and analyze the song as a poem.


Possibly the best ballad ever written, "Bonny Barbara Allan" tells the story of a slighted lover, who takes the ultimate revenge:  not kissing her boyfriend to save his life. This ballad is great for teaching dialect, symbol, alliteration, and other poetic devices. I also enjoy pairing it with another ballad "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" from the songbook.