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Lesson Plan by Lauren Martin M.Ed.

O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman

Pixton Lesson Plan on O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman

Make poetry come to life with comics!

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Featured Layouts

When students complete the activities in this lesson plan, they will use the following comic layout types.

  • Comic Strip
  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map
  • Character Map
  • Poster

Your students will create amazing images like these in no time!

This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings poetry to life with comics and storyboards.
This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings poetry to life with comics and storyboards.
This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings poetry to life with comics and storyboards.

Featured Props

O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman

Student creations come alive with these themed objects – in addition to our library of over 3,000 props!

  • Casket
    Casket
  • Chest
    Chest
  • Cloud
    Cloud
  • Flag
    Flag
  • Gravestone
    Gravestone
  • Lightning
    Lightning
  • Music
    Music
  • Rose
    Rose
  • Ship
    Ship
  • Water
    Water
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Teacher Guide

O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman

Step 1Class discussion with students

Getting Started

Before reading the poem, discuss the following:

  • What do you already know about this poet?
  • What do you already know about this poem?
  • What are the literal and connotative meanings associated with the specific words in the title?
  • What images and emotions are evoked by the words in the title?
  • What can you predict about the poem based on the title and author?

Opening Discussion

Read the poem “O Captain! My Captain!” by Walt Whitman two times aloud with the class (available online).

Step 2Pixton comic-making activities
  • Make a Comic Strip or Storyboard
    Paraphrase Meaning

    Complete after class reading.

    View Activity
  • Make a Storyboard or Mind Map
    Theme & Symbols

    Complete after class discussion.

    View Activity
  • Make a Storyboard or Mind Map
    Vocabulary

    Complete after class reading.

    View Activity
  • Extension / Modification
    Character Map (Extension / Modification)

    Create a Character Map for one character alluded to or discussed in the poem.

  • Extension / Modification
    Storyboard (Extension / Modification)

    Create a Storyboard to illustrate a TP-CASTT analysis of the poem.

  • Extension / Modification
    Poster (Extension / Modification)

    Research the author of the poem and create a Poster to report your findings on their life and the historical context of their poem.

Step 3Concluding discussion with students

After reading the poem, discuss the following:

  • What is unique or interesting about this poem?
  • Is symbolism or allegory used to enhance the poem? How so?
  • What are the themes of the poem?
  • What lines or examples illustrate this theme?
  • How does the author use figurative language (metaphor, simile, hyperbole, understatement) to enhance the meaning of the poem?
  • What is your favorite example of symbolism, figurative language and/or imagery, and why?
  • Does the author use rhyme, repetition or meter? Be specific.
  • Were you able to appreciate or better understand a new idea or perspective from reading this poem? Why or why not?
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Pixton Activity: O Captain! My Captain! 1 Paraphrase Meaning

Featured Layouts

  • Comic Strip
  • Storyboard

Intro

Instruct students to read and re-read to interpret difficult language and to interpret the literal meaning of the poem. Remind students that when reading any poem, they should write brief margin summaries to paraphrase and summarize the meaning of each line or stanza.

Instructions

Create a Comic Strip or Storyboard to summarize specific lines or the main points and meaning of the poem:

  • Label the main idea in the panel title.
  • Write detailed descriptions and/or dialogue to illustrate the idea.
  • Include an appropriate illustration for each panel. See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Example Comic Strip

Paraphrase "O Captain! My Captain!" by Student

Here's the link to share this comic:

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Pixton Activity: O Captain! My Captain! 2 Theme & Symbols

Featured Layouts

  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map

Intro

Discuss the themes and/or symbols in the text. The theme of a text is a truth about life or a truth the reader understands better after reading a text. A symbol is an object that represents a deeper meaning than what is on the surface.

Instructions

Illustrate at least three symbols and/or themes in a Mind Map or Storyboard:

  • Write the theme or symbol in the panel title
  • Create an image that summarizes the theme or symbol
  • Include a description that fits the theme or symbol

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Theme & Symbols

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The theme is highly developed; examples have significant purpose and are highly detailed. The theme is well developed; examples are specific and provide ample support. The theme is briefly discussed; examples are accurate but not fully explained. The theme is poorly discussed; vague or irrelevant examples. The theme is not identified; lacks any supporting examples.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• develops ideas clearly and logically with details, examples, and descriptions
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• logical descriptions or examples clarify and develop the ideas
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• examples or descriptions are simple and consistent
• few relevant ideas
• examples or descriptions may be poorly developed or illogical
• ideas are not developed
• few details or descriptions
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence • proper organization
• examples are properly referenced
• panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• examples are properly referenced
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• examples are properly referenced
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• examples are not/improperly referenced
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• examples are not referenced
• panels are missing
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total
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Pixton Activity: O Captain! My Captain! 3 Vocabulary

Featured Layouts

  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map

Intro

Instruct students to read and re-read to infer the meaning of difficult language and to interpret the literal meaning of the poem. Remind students that when reading any text, they should circle unknown vocabulary words and use a dictionary or context clues to define each word.

Instructions

Create a Mind Map or Storyboard to illustrate the literal or symbolic meaning of at least four words from the poem:

  • Identify the word in the panel title.
  • Write a detailed definition of the word as it is used in the poem.
  • Include an appropriate illustration for each panel.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

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