Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Thoughts From Within - A Modern Poem
Poem - Thoughts From Within 

In this post I have created a lesson based on a poem written by a famous actor (Advanced level)

Lesson Objectives:

  • It is designed for a one-to-one lesson, but could  be used with a group.  
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • The idea of the lesson is to give students a taste of some modern poetry in English. Students will expand vocabulary, use their imagination, improve their listening skills, practise expressing opinions, analysing text and recognising and interpreting figures of speech in poetry. They will also improve their pronunciation and poetry reading skills. 

Task 1: Warm up

  • What is a poem?
  • What's the difference between a song and a poem?
  • Do you like writing/reading poetry?
  • Do you have a favourite poem/poet?

Task 2: Read the definition of a 'poem'

Task 3: Look at the title

The title of the poem is 'Thoughts from within', what do you think the poem is going to be about?

Task 4: Vocabulary from the poem

Before we read the poem, look at the expressions below and match them with the correct definition in the table:


Task 5:  Complete the missing words:

Read the poem, some of the words are missing, try to guess what the missing words are:


Task 6:  Questions

  • How would you describe the writer? 
  • What situation is presented in the poem?

Task 7: Watch the You Tube video

  • As you watch  the video, listen to how the speaker reads the poem, pay attention to his intonation and use of rhythm and rhyme:

Task 8: Listen again, check and correct your answers from Task 5.

Task 9: Answer the following discussion questions.

  • Who is the speaker and writer of the poem?
  • Are you surprised that the poem is written by this actor?
  • What is the tone of the speaker's voice?
  • How does the poem make you feel?
  • Is the music in the background an important element of the poem?
  • Does the poem speak for a particular culture?
  • Name at least 5 of the global issues highlighted in the poem.

Task 10: Answer the following questions about the elements of the poem.

  • Does the writer use imagery? If yes, give examples.
  • Does the writer use metaphors? If yes, give examples.
  • Does the writer use similes? If yes, give examples.
  • Does the writer use alliteration? If yes give examples.
  • Does the writer use personification? If yes give examples.
  • Does the writer use onomatopoeia? If yes give examples.
  • Does the writer use hyperboles? If yes give examples.
  • Give examples of the use of rhyme in the poem.

*Possible answers:
ImageryAn endless stream of people
Metaphors: My mind is upside down
Similes: I feel like a run-on sentence
Alliteration: Do you dare to feel responsible for every dollar you lay down
Personification: and earth rapers 
Onomatopoeia: No examples in the poem
Hyperbole: A billion people sitting watching their TV (although it's not such an exaggeration)
Rhyme: Legislated, over populated, incorporated.

Task 11: Interpretation

What do you think the writer means by:

  • 'I sometimes feel like an alien creature for which there is no earthly explanation'
  • 'I feel like a run on sentence, in a punctuation crazy world'
  • 'The prevailing attitude' 
  • 'Religion is incorporated'?
  • 'The convoluted cacophony of bad ideas'
  • 'Earth rapers'
  • 'Are you going to make the rich man richer or are you going to stand your ground?'

Task 12: Reading and pronunciation

Use to record yourself reading the poem, listen to your recording and check your pronunciation.  If necessary watch the You Tube video again.  Repeat this process until you are satisfied with your recording, save it and send it to me.
Courtesy of:

Further reading:

  • Woody Harrelson is an environmental activist, a vegan and a raw foodist.  Read more about Woody Harrelson

I greatly appreciate any comments and feedback.  If you are a Google+ member please comment below.  If you're on Facebook please message me there and of course you can always send me an email:

Thanks and I hope you found this post helpful :-)

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