Lesson Plan: Silk Road Journeys: Analyzing Poetry


Name: Laura Wright
School: Niles North High School
Subject Area: English Literature and Composition
Grade Level: Tenth Grade (designed for sophomores studying a unit on poetry)

State Goals

  • 1: Read with understanding and fluency.
  • 2: Read and understand literature representative of various societies, eras and ideas.
  • 3: Write to communicate for a variety of purposes.
  • 4: Listen and speak effectively in a variety of situations.
  • 5: Use the language arts to acquire, assess and communicate information.


Students will:

  • Gain an understanding of the history of the Silk Road and how people and objects were transformed through the journey.
  • Hear and view the children’s book We’re Riding on a Caravan and analyze its rhyme and meter.
  • Read Robert Pinsky’s “Shirt” and discuss the ways the shirt’s journey is conveyed in the poem.

Materials/Resources/Gallery Objects


  1. Give students a brief history of the Silk Road as a conduit for transformation of culture and art/goods.
  2. Distribute copies of the “Analyzing Poetry” Worksheet and give students a chance to look at the questions.
  3. Using the document camera so that students can see the pictures in the book, read We’re Riding on a Caravan. Use the Worksheet to analyze the poetry of the book and discuss how the author uses language to create tone and convey meaning to the reader.
  4. Distribute “Shirt” by Robert Pinsky. Read the poem aloud in class and then have students use the Worksheet to discuss the poem.