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Connect Form and Meaning_Annotated


How can I identify literary tools and connect the form of literature with its meaning?
Learn to analyze the form of a piece of writing, and to explain how this form contributes to the meaning of the text.

Time To Complete 

6-10 hours

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.R.1
  • CCRA.R.4
  • CCRA.R.5

I Can Statements 

  • I can:
    • Identify the formal elements of a text
    • Explain how the formal elements of a text contribute to meaning
  • I will know my analysis of the form and meaning of a text is of high quality when it:
    • Accurately identifies the formal elements of a text
    • Connects an author’s use of a specific formal element of a text to the meaning of the text

Suggestions for Assessing Student Readiness to Move Forward:

  • Confer with students, asking them to share their analyses and explain how their analysis is supported by and deepened their understanding of the text.
  • Ask students to self-evaluate their work after completing one of the activities below. 


Possible Activities 
  1. Model reading a text aloud, while displaying it to the students.  As you read, stop occasionally to note the use of a literary tool, and to think aloud about how it contributes to the meaning of the text.  Be very explicit about the connections you are drawing (e.g., “When I read ____ I realize that this is an example of ____ because ____, and I think this connects to the meaning because ____”).  

  2. Students should practice identifying and explaining uses of each literary tool.

    • Distribute poems or short stories in which you have highlighted examples of literary tools.  Ask students to identify them and to explain how they contribute to the meaning of each piece.
    • In groups, students read a poem together, and take turns identifying and then explaining examples of the target literary tools, which they can record on chart paper in two-column note style.  They should present their findings to the larger class.
    • Students read a text individually, and identify and explain uses of literary tools in two-column notes. 
    • They should continue practicing until they are adept at connecting literary form and meaning.
  3. After several days of practice and once they have achieved mastery, students should annotate their chosen text with identification and explanation of literary tools.

Downloadable Resources 
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