The Cremation of Sam McGee
Poetry Lesson Plans
Sam McGee Poetry Lesson
Lesson Plans Objective
Present and Discuss two types of poetry - narrative and lyric.
Define different types of figurative language.
Lesson Plans Materials
- Class Set of The Cremation of Sam McGee
by Robert Service
- Teacher Notes (for student use via overhead, handout,
- A Picture of a winter landscape
Lesson Plans Lesson
Look at the picture on the overhead. Describe what you see and predict
what our poem today might be about.
Types of Poetry
Narrative - poetry that tells a story. Has
plot, characters, and a setting. Unlike a fiction story the narrative
poem uses sound devices such as repetition.
Lyric - poetry verse that expresses a
poet's thoughts and feelings about a single image or idea. Written in
Figures of Speech
Simile - comparison of 2 unlike things using
like or as.
Example: she sang like an angel
Metaphor - a comparison between 2 or
more seemingly unrelated subjects that typically uses the phrase "is a"
to join the first objects.
Example: that dog is a wet mop!
Hyperbole - exaggeration meant to
produce a particular effect.
Example: the guard was twelve feet tall with muscles of steel
Personification - Giving human
characteristics to nonhuman subjects.
Example: the washing machine danced across the floor
Sam McGee Poetry
Lesson Plans Work Period
- Read The Cremation of Sam McGee
once through as a class.
- While reading together, students should raise hand
when noticing one of the four defined figurative language examples
above. They should also
keep 4-column notes with each Fig. Lang. as a header. Write out any
examples they come across.
- Also during reading, stop at the end of each stanza
and have students write one sentence explaining the main action of the
stanza. Share and discuss.
- After Reading as a class, answer question - which
type of poem is Sam McGee?
- Students answer on their own:
* Is Cap obligated to cremate Sam? Why or why not?
* Stanza 14 leaves three possible interpretations to what happened to
Sam McGee. What are they? Which do you believe and why?
Interpretations are: (1)Sam is dead, (2)Sam "thawed
out" and came back to life, (3)Cap has gone crazy and thinks Sam is
talking to him
Cremation of Sam McGee
Poem and example warm up picture located in right column.
Sam McGee Poetry
Lesson Plans Homework
Choose your favorite example of figurative language from The
Cremation of Sam McGee. Explain which it is, how you know,
and use it another sentence. Bonus points for a whole paragraph
stemming from the phrase!
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