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An Ode to the American Revolution (1788): Using Poetry to Teach History

Lesson Plan

Created by Kara Herriage 


Ode for the 4th of July


Core theme:

Creating the Nation

Grade level:

7th grade

Estimated duration of lesson:

50 minutes

Content standards:

Language Arts Grade 7 
5.  Analyze how a drama’s or poem’s form or structure (soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning.  
4.  Determine meaning of words/phrases as they are used in text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of story or drama.  
1.  Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

Primary source:

” (Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Continental Congress & Constitutional Convention Broadsides Collection).  

Summary of the lesson:

Students will analyze the poem “An Ode for the Fourth of July 1788” by Francis Hopkinson for form and structure, meaning, and figurative language.

Instructional steps:

Give students a copy of An Ode for the Fourth of July 1788.”  Read the poem together as a class several times through.  (The students will have previously had notes on form, structure, analyzing meaning, and figurative language in poetry.)  Put students in pairs or small groups and have them complete the  .  

A post-assessment and its scoring guideline:


Materials needed by teacher:

A copy of the poem, a copy of the assessment.

Materials needed by students:

A copy of the poem, a copy of the assessment, a writing utensil.