Thematic Analysis of the poem ” A Blessing”

Objectives: Students will be able to write a theme analysis by examining the text through a specific literary device such as diction, imagery or figurative language and tone.

Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term or terms over the course of a text

Content: Students are provided with translators & dictionaries to help them with unfamiliar vocabulary.

Process: Instructions are scaffolded ( annotation guidelines & graphic organizer) for students to follow. Handouts are provided for students to annotate a text. Lesson tools and model essay are given for students to emulate. TILL and thematic statement templates are provided for students to create a thesis statement.

Products: Various strategies are taught and choices provided to help students complete a task based on their individual abilities and the connections they can make with the text.


A list of tone words with definitions

Do Now: Identify a transitional word or phrase in the model essay. Circle them. Identify the parts in the model essay where you feel you want to adopt in your own essay writing. Why? Pair-share.

Mini Lesson with Guided Practice:

  1. Effective use of verbs and verbal phrases ( see the lesson tool); conjunctions
  2. Use the Essay checklist and teacher model esay to guide your writing.

Checklist for the Thematic Analysis of the Poem “A Blessing”

  1. Identify two different tone words to describe the speaker’s feelings or attitude
  2. Identify three specific examples from the poem to support/illustrate each tone
  3. Identify the pattern of your examples: descriptive dictions, sensory details, imagery, figures of speech, symbol
  4. Make a TILL Statement (This ILike Life)-Theme(This is like life because wild ponies can only be found nature and they are so pure and gentle. The speaker seems to enjoy the fleeting and affectionate relationship with the ponies, thus revealing mankind’s desire to be in harmony with nature.)
  5. How do the tones reveal the author’s attitude toward nature?
    • The author uses imagery to reveal he is awed yet spiritual attitudes toward nature,
  6. Thesis statement- combining and TILL statement and tone descriptions:
    • (Title or author) Wright explores the idea of the realtionship between man and nature and how nature can gift people with spiritual experiences even though/even if it is untamed (wild). The author uses imagery to reveal his awed yet spiritual tone toward nature.

Writing the essay

    1. Introduction:
      • State the thematic statement
      • The author uses _____________( a poetic device or strategy) to illustrate the idea.
    2. Body
      • Body paragraph 1:
        1. ( Topic sentence) First, the author uses imagery to describe a sense of awe inspired by nature.
        2. context) In the beginning part of the poem, the author describe how he and his friends encounter two wild ponies off the highway.
        3. (example #1 of the imagery and analysis) They meet two Indian ponies describe as “twilight” who “bounds softly” on the grass. Instead of being aggressive, the ponies “come gladly” and “welcome my friend and me”. The speaker is so awed by the friendly attitude the ponies that they “step over the barbed wire” to meet them. The ponies “ripple tensely”, galloping with happiness at the speaker’s presence. Then they “bow shyly like “wet swans”. The imagery of the ponies’ galloping happily and grazing peacefully reveals how awed the speaker is by the experience.
        4. (“So What”-connecting back to the theme) Thus, the author seems to long for the harmony between people and nature.
      • Body Paragraph 2:
        1. ( Topic sentence) The author continues to explore the idea of nature in a more spiritual way.
        2. ( context- a critical summary of the section that you’ll discuss) The speaker interacts with the ponies by touching her soft ear.
        3. ( example #2 of the imagery and analysis) Ponies seem to enjoy the speaker and his friend’s presence as seen in the imagery “she walked over to me/And nuzzled my left hand. “ The speaker seems to be in euphoria as he senses become sharpened: he feels “the light breeze” and the ponies’ “delicate” and soft ear. The physical experiences in nature all of a sudden are transformed into a spiritual feeling as the speaker reflect, “ …if I stepped out of body I would break/into blossom”. The imagery of the speaker budding into a full-blown flower is magical and spiritual.
        4. ( “So What”- connecting back to the thesis statement”) If people and nature live in harmony, we can experience spiritual enlightenment and pure happiness.
    3. Conclusion: The author uses imagery to reveal how necessary it is for mankind to be in harmony with nature in order to be happy.

Student Independent Practice

Students will use the checklist to guide their writing ,step by step according to his/her preparation and ability.

Exit Slip: Check off the steps you have completed. Save the portion of the essay you have written.

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